Morgan County storm shelter, new fire hall open Saturday

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MORGAN CITY, Ala. (WHNT)-- The Eastern end of Morgan County now has another storm shelter.

This one is just behind the new Brindlee Mountain Volunteer Fire Department building in Morgan City off Highway 231. It's called the Morgan City Community Tornado Shelter.

"We're just glad to have it. We've never had [anything] in this area before," said fire chief Tommy MacPherson.

He tells us a FEMA grant paid for 75% of the storm shelter's cost. The fire department paid for the rest.

"If there's a tornado warning in the immediate area for the Marshall or Morgan County areas, it will be opened," said MacPherson.

The shelter can hold 96 people, and MacPherson says it has a generator too. He assures us it's a true community effort to keep it open; every fire department member will have access to keys to open it. They've also made sure other community members, like certain shop owners and ambulance services, have the ability to open it.

"We've got several contingency plans just in case [of a] worst case scenario when nobody's around," he said.

Saturday, the fire department also celebrated its new digs at the new building. It was move-in day.

"We have outgrown our other building," said MacPherson. "We've outgrown the property..."

He said this building gives them better access to the street, and it's pull-through so it's less time getting the trucks in and out..

"Anytime we can cut down our response time and have better availability to get to the trucks and get out to the street to get to the residents, when seconds count, that really matters," he said.

As of Saturday, the new shelter and the new fire department are ready to go.

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