Land donated for Tuscaloosa County tornado shelter

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 5:55 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA CO., Ala. (WBRC) - The Tuscaloosa County Commission could build the first public storm shelter in Duncanville on a piece of land on Duncanville Middle School Road.

The person who owns the property gave it to the county free of charge.

“Having the property donated is the big first step because you’ve got to have a place that’s centrally located,” said Tuscaloosa County Commissioner Mark Nelson.

He represents the area that includes Duncanville.

People living there are forced to drive outside of the community to find shelter during tornado warnings.

Nelson said the Duncanville Volunteer Fire Department has agreed to operate a shelter if the county builds one there.

“The partnership with the volunteer fire department is equally as important cause we have already found you can build a tornado shelter, but you need somebody who’ll be able to open and run it for those weather events,” Commissioner Nelson expressed.

Nelson added, Tuscaloosa County has disaster mitigation money left-over from a recent tornado that may provide grant money to buy materials needed to build a shelter in Duncanville.

That would mean folks living there would not have far to go for safety.

“There are a lot of homes in that area that are susceptible to high wind events,” Nelson went on to say.

Nelson said if the Tuscaloosa County Commission finalizes plans by getting the grant money by this summer, they could bid out a builder a tornado shelter in Duncanville by this Fall. If that happens they could be completed by the start of the Spring tornado season in 2022.

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