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Covering state lawmakers, bills, and policy emerging from Jefferson City.

Governor Authoritizes Several Local Safe Room and Warning Siren Projects

The Soaring Heights Elementary gymnasium also serves as a safe room. It's one of seven functional safe rooms within Joplin Schools.
Scott Harvey
/
KSMU

Gov. Jay Nixon has authorized Missouri’s emergency management agency to move forward with proposals for millions in grant funds toward local severe weather initiatives.

A large portion of the $5.2 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hazard mitigation dollars would aid southwest Missouri school districts. The FEMA program provides 75 percent of the funding for approved projects, with local grant recipients paying the remaining 25 percent.

Authorized safe room proposals include a 4,100 square foot structure for the Spokane district’s Highlandville Elementary School, which will shelter 517 people. The Logan-Rogersville School District wants an 8,200 square foot safe room that will double as a gymnasium, capable of sheltering 1,300 people. Under Nixon’s authorization, school districts in Laclede, Oregon and Ozark counties would also be authorized for new safe rooms.  

Additional grant funds will allow for the installation of outdoor warning sirens, including two in Shannon County and for three communities in Texas County.

Nixon says Missouri currently has 168 completed safe rooms across the state. Monday marks the start of Severe Weather Awareness Week, with a statewide tornado drill scheduled for Tuesday.

In his announcement Wednesday, the governor also reminded citizens of flooding dangers this week. He warned of motor vehicle safety during times of heavy rains, noting that 23 of the state’s 27 flooding deaths in 2015 involved motor vehicles. 

Scott joined KSMU in November 2012. He had previously served five years as news director for KETR-FM, the public radio station in Commerce, Texas. A graduate of Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Scott enjoys producing human-interest stories, among other pieces that educate and engage the community. When not at work, he’s often taking part in outdoor activities, exploring new areas and restaurants, or staying up-to-date with the latest news and information. Scott was born and raised in Shenandoah, Iowa.