Saturday Update: Storm shelters ready for use
Two storm shelters recently purchased by the City of Russellville are now in place and will be open to the public.
Russellville Fire Chief Joe Mansell said units, which are placed next to the Ralph Bishop Center and at the old Reedtown Junior High School between Stuck and Green Street, would be opened at the next threat of severe weather.
"We don't really have our policy or procedures in place yet, but in the event of severe weather, they will be opened," he said.
Mansell added that both the police and fire department, along with the mayor and council, are working on a set of rules and regulations for the facilities.
"We didn't want to have these things and not open them just because we laid some ground rules," he said. "If we need them, we'll open them."
The shelters were purchased with grant funding with help from the county Emergency Management Agency.
Mansell said the city police and fire department will be the key holder for the two facilities and will monitor weather conditions to make sure they are opened as they are needed, adding the facilities would be opened once a tornado warning is issued for the county by the National Weather Service.
"But, if bad weather's rolling through and the public thinks they need to be open, they can call the police station or the fire station and we can open them that way," he said.
Mansell expects the city to set guidelines, which could include a maximum occupant policy and rules regarding pets, within the next few days.