New Birmingham library will shelter people during storms

Just months after tornadoes tore through Pratt City, plans were laid out and promises were made. But destroyed houses and city buildings sat untouched. Now, Pratt City is coming back to life more than two years later and a new library with a storm shelter will be at the heart of it.

"Behind every dark cloud is a brighter day," said Pratt City neighborhood president Clarence Ford.

Now, a few rays of sunshine are taking the form of new houses, a fire station, senior center and library. What people in Pratt City see is bright."When I ride through, I can see all the things going on. This library is really going to be a light in our community," said Lily Files, vice president of the neighborhood.

There are still no windows, incomplete walls and no books inside the library. But it will a beacon during storms. The bathroom and break room walls are reinforced with concrete to create a storm shelter.

"About two or three times a tornado has rally hit the area, so people are going to want to come back to the area," said Files.

"You always feel better that you have security," said Ford.

The neighborhood leaders hope that security will put Pratt City back into a positive light and bring people back,

"We're getting homes repaired, our roofs fixed, just a better neighborhood to live in," said Ford.

The library is expected to be finished within 60 days.

The mayor says storm shelters are going into other parts of Birmingham.