State to dole out storm shelter grants

Published 12:30 am Saturday, July 10, 2010

Residents in 13 Mississippi counties affected by springtime tornadoes and flooding who build their own storm shelters may recover some of the cost through another round of “safe room” grants.

Those affected by the severe weather April 24 and May 1 in Alcorn, Attala, Benton, Choctaw, Holmes, Lafayette, Monroe, Oktibbeha, Tippah, Tishomingo, Union, Warren and Yazoo counties may be reimbursed up to 75 percent of the cost of a small, windowless room if built to FEMA criteria. Building costs cannot exceed $4,000, a release from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said.

Reimbursements are funded by FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

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Mississippi launched safe room programs in 2001 after a series of tornadoes and severe weather similar to this year’s storms. The April 24 tornado killed 10 people in the state, with four in Yazoo County.

More than 6,000 people have installed safe rooms since the “Safe Place to Go Program” started, the release said.