Near-misses give county pause to consider lake storm shelter

Staff reporter

If tailored after the Iowa State Fairgrounds shelter, the floor plan would include restrooms/showers, a laundry facility, and other areas that could be utilized in case of disaster.

The shelter would meet FEMA requirements for a storm bunker with 12-inch-thick precast concrete panels and reinforced concrete masonry units for the walls.

An outdoor concrete canopy at the Iowa fairgrounds provides weather protection and was designed to withstand 250-mph winds and prevent them from becoming a debris hazard during a high-wind event.

Many of the interior walls would be eight inches thick. Lighting is provided by an overhead light beam in a large meeting room.

The dome-shaped room also would be designed to resist wind and debris.

The federal portion of the Iowa project was a $600,000 grant from FEMA and the state fair board paid the remaining 25 percent.

It took approximately two years for the construction to occur from the inception of the idea.

The commission and Abbott-Becker agreed that a smaller-scaled building could be designed for use at the county lake.