MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Even though hurricane season is fresh on our minds, we can't forget about the possibility of tornadoes.
By law, newly-built public schools in Alabama will now have to be built with a tornado shelter.
Taylor-White Elementary in west Mobile is the only school tornado shelter built in our area. The shelter will be used as classroom space year round.
The school will open in the Fall.
"It's vital. The students are everything here so the students and the staff, we want to protect them," said Supervisor of Construction, Scott Roberson.
The Shelter or the "safe space" is designed to withstand two hundred mile per hour winds and if the rest of the school is destroyed, nearly 700 students and staff can take cover in the shelter with fresh air, running water and emergency lights.
"If you noticed in Oklahoma they had sixteen minutes warning. Which is plenty of time to get to that safe space, lock the doors and sit there to wait it out," said Roberson.
The designers are used to building hurricane-ready buildings.
" We are used to designing for wind conditions. This is just an extreme wind condition," said Architect David Barr.
They understand the difference between the two potential natural disasters.
"Tornadoes are so violent would be the word, and quick. A hurricane you can prepare for and get away from basically. A tornado is here and it's gone and the havoc and damage is done," said Roberson.
Two more schools are being built with tornado shelters: Augusta Evans Special Needs and Whitley Elementary.
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The Mobile County Sheriffs Office is wrapping up an undercover investigation aimed at cracking down on local scrap metal businesses.
Students at Davidson High School are dedicating their annual Christmas Concert Monday, December 9 to their late band director Tony Pike.
Look for a big drop in our temperatures for Tuesday.
The Democratic leader in the Alabama House is calling for the Legislature to use its election-year session to approve a state lottery.
Shaun Cassidy was slapped with a $1,155,00 bond Monday afternoon. He was arrested Friday night on multiple charges of sodomy and enticing a child.