Lamar County breaks ground on storm shelter

PURVIS, MS (WDAM) - PURVIS, MS (WDAM)-Lamar County officials, along with representatives from FEMA and MEMA, gathered to break ground for a new FEMA 361 Safe Room on Thursday.

It will be located in the Lamar County Industrial Park. When completed, the community shelter will be able to temporarily house about 900 people and will be able to withstand winds of up to 200 mph.

"It's self-sustainable, totally," said James Smith, director of emergency management for Lamar County. "(It will have) water, power, sewer, everything.  We were budgeted $3.25 million for a grant on it.  We came in about $2.5 million.  So, we were able to save a lot of money in working with our architects and engineers to get the prices down," Smith said.

It will take about one year to complete construction.

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