Jones Co. to build storm safety room to hold 1,000

Published 1:51 pm Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jones County is receiving a $2.4 million federal grant to help fund a community storm safety room at the South Mississippi Fairgrounds in Laurel.

The 10,000-square-foot room will be built to accommodate 1,000 people for up to 36 hours. It’s being designed to meet Federal Emergency Management Agency safety standards to withstand hurricane- and tornado-force winds and the debris carried by storms.

Mississippi’s two Republican U.S. senators, Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, announced the funding Monday.

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The grant is coming from a FEMA hazard mitigation program. It is supposed to cover 75 percent of the estimated $3.2 million construction cost. The balance of $802,500 will be paid by nonfederal sources.