One shelter open in Jackson County: 3 more on the way - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

One shelter open in Jackson County: 3 more on the way

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Jackson County's newest storm shelter at the Fontainebleau Community Center is built to federal 361 standards, which means it can withstand winds up to 200 miles per hour.

Here's one of the reasons why: The doors don't lead directly outside. You have to go through another door to enter the building. That way, a flying projectile won't come through the door.

Here's another, the walls and the roof are made of concrete, 18 inches thick.

The 7,500 square foot shelter can hold up to 500 people for 36 hours during and after a storm. It's so secure, Jackson County Supervisor John McKay would leave his loved ones here.

"It's built like a bunker," McKay said. "I'll have no problem bringing my kids and grandkids in this facility. It's going to be totally safe."

Another interesting feature: The building has its own water and sewer systems, in case a hurricane knocks out city facilities. If people are stuck there for days, there are even showers in the restrooms. If residents bring pets, the animals can stay in a special room and be kept safe.

Almost certainly, the power will go out in a storm, but that's not a problem. A huge generator can power the entire building for several days, including the air conditioning system.

Three additional shelters are currently under construction in the county, and all are based on the design of the Fontainebleau facility. But they won't be finished until March, well after another hurricane season has passed. Which brings us to the question everyone is asking: It's been almost six years since Hurricane Katrina hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Why has it taken so long to build these shelters?

The answer is not surprising.

"The government has a tremendous amount of red tape no matter what you do," McKay said. "And the federal government is worse than even your local government, and we have red tape. But the federal government is just unreal."

But with all that red tape comes a lot of money. The three new shelters will cost about $6.8 million to build, and FEMA is picking up the entire tab for construction.

The other shelters are located in the St. Martin, Vancleave, and the East Central communities. The 10,000 square foot shelters can house up to 800 people for three days.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Update: Teen charged in crash involving Gulfport police officer

    Update: Teen charged in crash involving Gulfport police officer

    Tuesday, January 23 2018 6:54 AM EST2018-01-23 11:54:09 GMT
    Eli Daniel Bosworth, 18, is charged with motor vehicle theft and felony fleeing and eluding.  (Photo source: Gulfport Police Dept.)Eli Daniel Bosworth, 18, is charged with motor vehicle theft and felony fleeing and eluding. (Photo source: Gulfport Police Dept.)

    A Gulfport police officer is on the way to the hospital with serious injuries Monday night after an accident at Three Rivers Road and Creosote Road.

    More >>

    A Gulfport police officer is on the way to the hospital with serious injuries Monday night after an accident at Three Rivers Road and Creosote Road.

    More >>
  • Friends hope no foul play in death investigation

    Friends hope no foul play in death investigation

    Tuesday, January 23 2018 6:54 AM EST2018-01-23 11:54:09 GMT
    A friend described Erin as a religious woman, a good mother, and outgoing.(Photo source: Facebook)A friend described Erin as a religious woman, a good mother, and outgoing.(Photo source: Facebook)

    Erin Hamilton's body was run over by a car, but the driver told police she was already lying in the street. Police say the circumstances surrounding her death are suspicious.

    More >>

    Erin Hamilton's body was run over by a car, but the driver told police she was already lying in the street. Police say the circumstances surrounding her death are suspicious.

    More >>
  • Possible change to Waveland vehicle take home policy could impact police officers

    Possible change to Waveland vehicle take home policy could impact police officers

    Tuesday, January 23 2018 12:02 AM EST2018-01-23 05:02:07 GMT
    The city is planning on making changes to its take home policy. (Photo source: WLOX News)The city is planning on making changes to its take home policy. (Photo source: WLOX News)

    Full-time Waveland city workers, primarily police officers, who take-home vehicles outside of the city limits could see a change to the city's policy soon. City leaders said the current policy is antiquated and needs to be rewritten into something that would benefit both the officers and the taxpayers.

    More >>

    Full-time Waveland city workers, primarily police officers, who take-home vehicles outside of the city limits could see a change to the city's policy soon. City leaders said the current policy is antiquated and needs to be rewritten into something that would benefit both the officers and the taxpayers.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly