Salina has no designated public storm shelters

Bennington tornado (KSN File Photo)

SALINA, Kansas (AP) – Although no public shelters are available in Salina during stormy weather, emergency officials say residents have many places to seek refuge and they are considering ways to provide more.

Saline County Emergency Management director Hannah Stambaugh says residents currently can shelter at fire stations, schools, churches and businesses.

Storm shelters for all Salina public schools are included in a recently passed $110 million school bond issue. The district’s new Salina West building has a basement designed to withstand winds up to 250 mph but it is not coordinated with the city’s and county’s emergency notification system.

Stambaugh says a higher priority is improving the county’s tornado siren system. Many of the about 20 sirens in the city and county are old and outdated.

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