pleasant valley carthage

Carthage (Mo.) district to open 3 school storm shelters to public

May 20, 2021
The gymnasium at the Intermediate Center was built to resist tornado-level winds and can house about 1,700 people.

The Carthage (Mo.) district says it will open three of its school storm shelters for the public to take shelter in case of a tornado.

The Joplin Globe reports that the school storm shelters at Pleasant Valley Elementary School and the Carthage Intermediate Center will be opened to the public as soon as three people for each shelter can be trained to open and manage them in case of storm warnings. 

Superintendent Mark Baker says the gymnasium at the Intermediate Center was built to resist tornado winds and can house about 1,700 people.

“As soon as we can find people willing to be in charge and train them, we’ll start,” Baker said. “Obviously it will take a little bit of time for people to get comfortable with the action. It’s not just standing at the door and letting people in. You have to learn the requirements.”

In the next few months, the shelter at Columbian Elementary School will be added to that list, but Baker says more planning is needed before opening that school shelter to the public.

The opening of the three storm shelters— in addition to the one at Carthage Junior High, which was funded in part by the Federal Emergency Management Agency specifically to act as a public shelter — means the district will offer storm shelters to the public in four locations around town.

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