LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – The city of Louisville is taking the first steps toward making the community safer against mother nature’s wrath.
April 28, 2014 is a day the people of Winston County will never forget. Tornadoes tore through the town, killing 10 people and destroying homes and businesses.
City leaders say they want to be prepared if a natural disaster strikes again and building a storm shelter is the first step in the plan.
Next month, the city of Louisville will begin accepting bids for the construction of a new state of the art 361 Monolithic Dome Safe Room.
“We intended to pursue this type program prior to our disaster of 2014. We were actually on a list as is many communities. Unfortunately the doom of that day, if it’s one thing that it did do, is it push us up in the priority list,” said Louisville Mayor Will Hill.
The city pursued FEMA funding for this project and the safe room will be located in downtown Louisville.
Mayor Will Hill says they had to be strategic when selecting the location.
“The wisest choice I think we’ve made as city leaders is looking at where can we make the most use of it. We had to look at population density, we looked at the effectiveness of it, to really provide a safe haven for the most people that could walk and the fact that it could be right near the school,” said Hill.
Winston County EMA Director Buddy King says of course, the building’s main job is to provide safety but it can also do a lot more.
“That’s one of the benefits of these buildings they are multi-functional. They will have a daily use or an organizational use, such as an auditorium or a cafeteria. Then in times of threatening weather we can convert those into a storm shelter and shelter people from within the community,” said King.
Since the Louisville Winston County area has had it’s share of bad weather, both Hill and King hope this new building will ease the minds of residents.
“We have a generation of children who have been majorly impacted by what happened in 2014. For anyone watching or listening, don’t think it can’t happen to you and we certainly hope it won’t,”said Hill.
“In the Central Mississippi Area, where we experience tornadoes on a fairly frequent basis. It is an unpredictable weather event and we need an alternative for our citizens to seek shelter in,” said King.
Bids will be opened December 12th.