New Tornado Shelters Coming to Pratt City

Dec 2, 2016

Aftermath of April 27, 2011 tornado in Pratt City, Ala.
Credit Christopher Mardorf / FEMA

Officials in Birmingham, Alabama say three of five planned community storm shelters will be open before the spring tornado season next year.

That's nearly six years after the April 27, 2011 tornadoes that devastated parts of Alabama, including the community of Pratt City. One tornado hit the northwest Birmingham community, killing one person and destroying the library, a fire station, numerous homes, apartment buildings, at least one church and several vehicles.

The Birmingham News reports all of the community shelters will be located in Pratt City. Under Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines, Birmingham Planning and Engineering Director Andre Bittas says each shelter has to be located within a five-minute walk of the residents of the Pratt City community.

Alabama was awarded $33 million from FEMA to build community shelters.