Pettis County Storm Shelters Closed for Repairs

| January 29, 2013
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As severe weather moves through the area today, many counties are reminding residents of available storm shelter locations. According to the Pettis County Emergency Management Agency, there are two shelters in their area currently out of service.  Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross talk to Director Dave Clippert:

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Both the North Sedalia and Skyline Elementary locations are in need of repair before they are safe for use.  “Those two shelters have developed large cracks in the deck or the roof of the shelter,”said Clippert,” Although it doesn’t affect the structural integrity, it is allowing large amounts of water to pour into the shelter during heavy rain.  Once that water gets on the floor, it becomes very slick almost like an ice skating rink.”

With the spring storm season quickly approaching, they are working to complete the repairs as soon as possible.  “We’re going to put some things over the top of the deck that we hope will move the water away and see if that works,”said Clippert,” I hope that we’re going to do that very shortly, but, I will be honest with you, we have had a lot of serious issues with these two shelters.  Every time we thought it would be just a few weeks, it has turned out to be a much longer period.”

In the meantime, residents are encouraged to use the Smith-Cotton Junior High School location at 312 East Broadway.  The shelter has the capacity to hold 3,000 people and officials believe it will meet Sedalia’s needs.  “If everyone is paying attention to the weather, it is adequate,” said Clippert,”You can get to just about any location in the city within a 10 to 15 minute time period.  If you wait until it’s too late, there could be problems, but that’s true with any shelter.”

The agency is also reminding citizens of their Nixle emergency warning system.  Those interested in the service may text their Pettis County zip code to 888777 and follow the instructions given.

Pettis County Storm Shelters:

Green Ridge (207 N Ohio, near the Green Ridge School Bus parking lot)

LaMonte (300 W Front, next to City Hall)

Hughesville (16135 Hwy H, next to the high school gym)

Houstonia (305 @ Tuck, next to the elementary school)

Smithton (105 E Marvin, across form the school playground)

Maplewood (3174 Hwy TT, next to the ball fields)

Smith-Cotton Jr High School (312 E Broadway, enter from E 10th Street)

Press Release:

Pettis County is bordering on a Slight Risk for severe weather on Tuesday, January 29th. Included in the risk is a possibility of high winds and isolated tornados. The primary threat is in southern Arkansas, northern Louisiana and Mississippi.

If the severe weather warrants and a Tornado Watch is issued, we will open the storm shelters in:
* Green Ridge (207 N Ohio, near the Green Ridge School Bus parking lot)
* LaMonte (300 W Front, next to City Hall)
* Hughesville (16135 Hwy H, next to the high school gym)
* Houstonia (305 W Tuck, next to the elementary school)
* Smithton (105 E Marvin, across from the school playground)
* Maplewood (3174 Hwy TT, next to the ball fields)
* Smith-Cotton Jr High School (312 E Broadway, enter from E 10th Street)

Detailed directions to the shelters can be found at the following link:

http://www.pettiscomo.com/shelters/shelters.pdf

Unfortunately, we will not be able to open the following shelters due to severe cracks in the roofs:

* North Sedalia (200 E Clay)
* Skyline Elementary (2505 W 32nd)

Severe cracks in the roofs are allowing large quantities of water to pour into these shelters, which in turn make the floors very slick. In the interest of public safety we have determined that closing these two shelters is the correct course of action. We are currently working on a fix to these problems and realize that this is a major inconvenience to those who planned to use those shelters.

As stated above, the primary risk area from tornados is far south of Pettis County, but they cannot be ruled out at this time. We ask as always that you keep a close eye on the weather, and remember that the storm shelter at Smith-Cotton Jr High School will be available to the public.

Again I apologize for this inconvenience, but I can assure you we are working to correct this problem as soon as we can.

Category: Local News, News