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Congressman Blunt Tours Storm Shelter in Ozark

Congressman Roy Blunt visited Ozark, Missouri today to tour the new storm shelter at Ozark Technical Community College’s Richwood Valley campus. KSMU’s Adam Murphy reports.

OTC officials led Congressman Roy Blunt through their new FEMA tornado shelter, which will also be used for classrooms. As construction crews put their finishing touches on the concrete structure, Blunt shared his experiences with the storms of southwest Missouri, and talked about the benefit of having a shelter like this one.

“I understand where the tornadoes come from and how often they get here, and having this kind of protection is a very helpful thing. That’s a very safe addition to southwest Missouri communities, to know where to go, to know you’re going to be safe when you get there, and to know how to get there, and to know the door will always be open,” said Blunt.

Blunt explained that OTC is the fastest growing institution of higher education in Missouri, and how he believes this growth has a positive impact on the surrounding community.

“When you’re growing you need to look at every opportunity to help meet your growth needs. And if you can do that, and work to meet the community safety needs at the same time, that’s definitely got be a win-win,” Blunt said.

The Richland Valley tornado shelter was built with $1.1 million of FEMA money. The grant was part of FEMA’s Pre-disaster Mitigation Program, which aims to reduce risks by planning before a disaster strikes. For KSMU News, I’m Adam Murphy.