FEMA Grant Awarded for Tornado Safe Room at Quarry Hill

Created: 04/11/2014 10:50 PM

(ABC 6 News) --  A popular outdoor site in Rochester is getting a new place for people to take shelter if severe weather hits.

A new tornado safe room will be built at Quarry Hill Nature Center.  The proposed shelter would hold 250 people and withstand winds up to 250 miles per hour.

"I think that this is a real unique idea to have in some place that's meant for people to be outdoors," Kris Eide, director of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said.  "So you want to make sure that as long as you can have the public utilize your nature center you also then are providing a space that they can be comfortable that no matter when they go there they can take refuge."

A $327,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay for 75 percent of the construction.  The remaining $109,000 will come from the city.