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County hopes to build storm shelters with grant

The Copiah County Board of Supervisors authorized the president to sign interlocal agreements with the entities participating in the “safe room” mitigation grant project.

The county has applied for $224,000 in grant funds to construct storm shelters at the volunteer fire departments, police departments, etc. in the county. The shelters will cost about $14,000 each, with  a small match required. The municipalities will provide their own matching funds for the project while the county provides the match for the county agencies participating.

All of the agencies in Copiah County approached to participate in this project agreed except for the City of Hazlehurst, which opted out.

Emergency Management director Randle Drane explained that the 8×14 storm shelters will be attached to facilities such as volunteer fire departments to give emergency personnel a “safe room” in which to ride out severe weather, which will help them respond more quickly to emergencies after the storm has passed. The shelters will hold about 20 people, so there should be room for some local citizens as well as the emergency personnel, Drane advised.

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