Friday, February 15, 2008

Sheltering From The Storm

It may be a little early to be thinking of tornadoes, but if anything has taught me lately it's that tornadoes can strike at anytime of the year. A couple of years ago, tornadoes occurred in November in central Iowa and just last month in Arkansas and Tennessee where my sisters and parents live.
The city's former city coordinator, Don Martin, started planning for a community center and storm shelter in the city's Maple Lane subdivision. The structure would be used by those living on Q Avenue (Maple Lane subdivision), residents of the new Windsor Manor assisted living center, a 12-unit senior apartment complex and a 40-unit mobile home park. All of these homes are built on slabs or lack sufficient protection in case of a tornado or windstorm.
The city applied for and received a $189,000 grant from FEMA towards the cost of the storm shelter portion. I think this is only fitting since Don worked for FEMA prior to coming to Vinton.
Last night, the city council approved the bid for the storm shelter and we expect construction to start in March or April. We hope the community center will be used more than the storm shelter, but it will be there if it is needed!

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