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Storm shelter locked during severe weather as keyholder watched movies

Nauvoo storm shelter (

People living in Nauvoo reached out to ABC 33/40, looking for answers after their storm shelter was locked during this weekend's severe storms.

Mayor Dwight Byram tells tells ABC 33/40, there are three people, including himself, with keys to the storm shelter. On Saturday, one keyholder was out of town and the other one turned her keys in just days before Saturday's severe weather.

The mayor says he heard the night before about possible weather threats. Saturday, he says he started watching movies instead of cable TV and was not paying attention. Moments later, he says he got a call about the storm shelter being locked. When he went to unlock the storm shelter, it was too late.

Residents who did not want to go on camera say there were about ten people waiting to take shelter. They say not being able to do so was scary and should not have happened. Mayor Byram says he missed the alerts and takes full responsibility.

"You try to cover everything, but sometimes you get caught where you didn't do it completely right. It's my fault because I'm the one where the buck starts and stops, and I'm sorry it happened. We're going to get some more keys out so that if we're out-of-pocket again like that, it won't happen again," said Mayor Byram.

Mayor Byram says they are discussing new plans, such as handing out more keys immediately.

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