Louisville Community Safe Room opens for severe weather threat

LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WTOK) - The new Louisville Community Safe Room opened its doors for the first time Saturday when a tornado warning was issued for parts of Winston County. About 125 people sought shelter at the safe room, including Fair Elementary School Principal LeAnn Boswell.

"I definitely felt safe. When I was at home, I looked out my back and I saw the actual tornado in the sky so I got my mom and headed this way and said we would come to the shelter here,” said Boswell.

The facility can withstand winds of up to 250 miles per hour. Boswell recognized others in the shelter including several students.

"It was so comforting to know that they came in. There was no fear. They were not afraid. They came in and I saw shoes that were on the wrong feet, so I switched their shoes to the right feet and tied their laces. I talked to them and they were very calm,” said Boswell.

While the kids had fun, Director of Public Safety Chris Young says the adults were very happy to be in a safe place.

"I think they felt safe. We didn't actually get a warning until later on in the evening so I think the ones that were here were reassured, because they were here rather than at home and we even had a few more spill in after the warning was issued,” said Young.

Young said the city could open the safe room again on Thursday as another possible round of severe weather could impact the region.

"Ideally it will be open long before there is a warning, but we can’t foresee everything, but normally when a watch is issued or when the tor con gets high enough, we will go ahead and be open so they can come plenty in advance,” said Young.

The city will release information about Thursday’s safe room opening status on Facebook.

The Louisville Community Safe Room can hold about 2,218 people.