Disaster shelter near completion in Brownsville

Local News
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“There’s a higher probability that hurricanes will form this year,” says Jim Reynolds.

Jim Reynolds a meteorologist with the national weather service says with that probability comes the need for more disaster preparations.

While hurricane season is slated to hit mid may, storms are already hitting south Texas.

“When we have very little wind sheer that can lead to the development of hurricanes,” says Reynolds.

After October storms hit Brownsville hard many were left wondering if they’d be safe when the next storm comes around.

Now flood victims will have a new state of the art storm shelter at the Brownsville Sports Park.

“The idea is to have community safe rooms within the state of Texas to provide near absolute protection for its citizens during extreme weather events such as hurricanes,”says Marina Zolezzi, Brownsville’s Grant Manager.

FEMA and local funds made this concrete safe room possible with a little more than six million dollars… Now it may look like just a gym but it’s a whole lot more.

“The walls that you see behind me they’re 12 inch semi block and it’s filled with grout so it’s a solid wall. The generator is designed to give power to the building so the 800 units, the chiller, those should still be working and all the light fixtures should still be on,” explains Assistant Project Manager.

On top, the dome can withstand 200 mile per hour winds and keep nearly 800 men women and children safe from the disasters outside.

The project took only a year to build. Now, the city of Brownsville is waiting on the final seal of approval from fire inspectors. They estimate the grand opening will be March 19th.

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