Shelters delivered to Tipton community

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Two community tornado shelters were delivered to the Tipton area late Monday afternoon as a thunderstorm lingered in the distance.

Pam Cook, deputy director of the Dallas County Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Emergency Management Agency (EMA), said the shelters were scheduled to arrive at noon Monday, but encountered traffic woes en route to Selma.

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“The Dallas County Road Crew did a wonderful job and worked very hard to pick the shelters off of flat bed trucks with a crane and set them on the concrete pad,” Cook said. “They accomplished this in one hour and we were able to beat the storm.”

Once the shelter is anchored to the concrete pad, seats are installed, the shelter is grounded, sidewall drainage lines are installed and a final inspection is made. Manufactured by Safe-T-Shelter, the community shelters can withstand “high winds, high ground waters, falling trees and debris and still protect everyone inside,” according to the company’s Web site (

Earlier this year, the Dallas County Commission approved a contractor’s bid for the shelter, which costs approximately $106, 883. An EMA grant has covered the majority of the costs.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the shelter was held on June 5. In a previous report, EMA Director Brett Howard said the shelters are expected to hold at least 160 people in the event of severe weather. Howard later stressed the shelters are not for long-term use and will come equipped with restrooms, air conditioning and heat.

District 1 Commissioner Connell Towns was touted as the man the behind bringing the shelters to the Tipton area, where several residents live in mobile homes. In previous severe weather incidents, Tipton residents sought shelter at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center.

County officials informed residents that the shelters are not solely for severe weather protection. During sunny and clear days, the shelter may be used as a community center for meetings and events.