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WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 04, 2012, 07:28 PM

Wadena builds a "safe room" to protect the community during storms

Wadena, MN (WDAY TV) -- Nearly 2-years after that killer tornado ripped through Otter Tail County and Wadena, Minnesota, a fascinating look at a rare "Safe Room" under construction at the site of the new high school. FEMA awarded nearly a million dollars to the Wadena-Deer Creek schools, to include the safe room, that will service and protect the community during storms.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Wadena, MN (WDAY TV) -- Nearly 2-years after that killer tornado ripped through Otter Tail County and Wadena, Minnesota, a fascinating look at a rare "Safe Room" under construction at the site of the new high school. FEMA awarded nearly a million dollars to the Wadena-Deer Creek schools, to include the safe room, that will service and protect the community during storms.

As the new Wadena high school takes shape, a few yards away, crews are pouring the footings and beginning to build a safe room. Just over 65 hundred square feet of solid pre cast concrete. And not just the walls.

Cement roof poured over it, bricks outside but the structure will be very strong.

The safe house will be able to withstand winds of 250 miles per hour. On a normal day, the space will act as a school gym and host athletic and special events.

This will be the first safe room in a 6 state area, the selling point, accessibility. 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Dispatch can flip a switch to turn the lights on and open the doors.

A traumatic experience for many of our kids and our community members we need a space they feel safe and i think it is important we have a storm shelter built.

It will be peace of mind for those living in Wadena, two years after the devestation, there will be one place now, that will withstand the mother of all storms.

The new school will house grades five through 12.

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