By Sarrah Peters
The City of Attalla recently opened a new storm shelter beside Carnes Recreation Center in Camp Sibert, located just off of Highway 77.
“We have guidelines for the use of the shelter,” said City Engineer Jason Nicholson. “It opens when Etowah County is placed under a tornado watch.”
The storm shelter has the capacity to hold 87 people. It is handicap accessible and features two bathrooms. The shelter prohibits smoking, alcohol, weapons, profanity and food. Pets are not allowed at the facility.
The City of Attalla realized its need for more storm shelters after the April 27 tornadoes in 2011.
“After the April 27, 2011 tornadoes, a lot of people in Camp Sibert installed their own shelters,” District 5 Councilman Bob Cross. “So with this shelter and the privately owned shelters, we’re in better shape for a storm.”
Because of the impact of the 2011 storms, Attalla received grants through FEMA to build the new shelter.
“We received $70,000 in grants and the City of Attalla matched $54,000,” said Cross. “We hope to apply for more grants to get more shelters throughout Attalla.”
Officials were excited that the new shelter could protect human lives in the case of future storms.
“This is great for the citizens,” said Attalla Mayor Larry Means. “We were glad to get the grant. It really is fantastic.”
For more information about the storm shelter, visit ShelterEtowah.com.