Stoddard Co. one of 5 counties to receive new tornado safe room

Stoddard Co. one of 5 counties to receive new tornado safe room

STODDARD COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A proposal for five tornado safe rooms at school in Lincoln, St. Charles, Stoddard, Texas and Webster Counties in Missouri was authorized on Monday, May 19 to proceed.

Gov. Jay Nixon announced the authorization during a visit to Troy Buchanan High School.

In Stoddard County, a proposed 6,700 square foot safe room to shelter about 1,000 people was authorized for the Advance R-IV School. The school's superintendent, Dr. Stan Seiler, says this announcement means more safety not only for students, but the entire community.

"If a storm comes this way, there's really not a lot of places for people to go. T his is something that our school district can help and give back to our community," Dr. Seiler said.

Other proposals authorized include:

  • St. Charles County - A proposed 7,700 square foot safe room to shelter about 1,200 people in a new school that would be built by the Orchard Farm R-V School District
  • Texas County - A proposed 4,600 square foot safe room to shelter about 700 people in Plato Elementary School in the Plato R-V School District
  • Webster County - A proposed 4,000 square foot safe room to shelter about 500 people in a new permanent early childhood center in the Fordland R-III School District
  • Lincoln County - A proposed 12,600 square foot safe room to shelter about 1,800 people for Troy Buchanan High School in the Lincoln County R-III School District

Community safe rooms are designed and engineered structures built to withstand 250 mile per hour winds. They use 14-inch precast concrete and steel-reinforced doors. The walls and roof sections are capable of withstanding impacts from windborne debris that can act as missiles.

Dr. Seiler says the new safe room will help him be assured the students at Advance schools are safe during storms. 

"It takes that worry off of the table. I know that if something is coming as far as a storm goes, we can get all of our kids in a safe place and I can go to parents and say 'they're going to be safe.' That's a great comfort in the world of a superintendent," Dr. Seiler said.

Missouri currently has 104 completed safe rooms across the state.

The FEMA program provides 75 percent of funding for pre-approved safe rooms projects that meet all design and construction standards. Local grant recipients pay the remaining 25 percent of safe room costs.

The federal share of the projects the governor announced on Monday is about $5.7 million. Local applicants still must meet all federal program requirements.

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