We're in the midst of severe weather season and approaching the two year anniversary of the devastating April 27th storm. Safety continues to weigh on the minds of many city leaders, including the city of Good Hope.
It might just catch your eye in the city of Good Hope and it might just save your life, even if you're just driving by.
"I feel safe if a tornado comes," That's because Jeffery McCormick lives seconds away from a new storm shelter. "We can go over there." Or go down the road where another new shelter sits near City Hall.
"Gives a lot of people places to go that otherwise would have to make due in a closet or whatever they may have at a house." Mayor Corey Harbison says FEMA issued grants following the April 27th storm and anticipates the shelters will be ready to shield danger near that anniversary. "The council looked around and saw the need for these shelters. The weather is more frequently getting severe."
The shelters are designed to hold 97 people, but Harbison says there's enough space to fit even more. Both have a restroom, a back up generator and can stand-up to 250-mile per hour winds. But the shelters are not just sitting here to protect people from tornadoes. "Now they're safe from lighting, grounded out, it's a safe avenue around for everybody."
Stacie Malin says "I think it's great cause we're here year round with football, baseball, basketball. If a storm comes, we can get over there."
Although Good Hope did not see the extent of damage it's neighbor Cullman received on April 27th. Harbison says the city wanted to stay pro-active to protect as many people possible from a storm. McCormick says "I think they've done a good job."
Mayor Harbison says he is also looking at adding more shelters in the city. He says requirements to get one include having 100 residents living within one mile of the location. He says one site could have utilized an extra shelter because of the large population.