DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) — A new hurricane-proof safe room is open on the Eastern Shore, but it’s for the city’s public works employees.
“Previously we had what we’ll call a storm room that was about 15×15 and you could put a couple of people in it,” said Public Works Director Jeremy Sasser.
Construction began last year on the new safe room. It can hold 74 employees during a disaster. Concrete walls and a concrete roof are built to withstand a major hurricane.
“It’s not your typical construction. The concrete walls will allow it to handle 200mph winds,” said Sasser.
When a storm threatens Baldwin County Sasser and his crew will hunker down inside. They’ll be able to communicate with first responders and dispatch trucks the moment winds die down.
“If we weren’t able to do this our workers would be at home, or out of town, and then they’d have to get back and it could delay the cleanup process by days,” he added.
The City of Daphne was awarded a FEMA grant for the new building.
“The cost to the citizens of Daphne was only a 20% match, which I believe was around $175,000,” said Sasser.
Computers and communication equipment will now be brought in and installed. These men and women hope they won’t have to use the building anytime soon, but they’re ready just in case.
“It’s great to have it this time of year,” he said.
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