Several families take shelter in Rankin County Storm Room - - Jackson, MS

Several families take shelter in Rankin County Storm Room

(Source: WLBT) (Source: WLBT)

If you live in Rankin County, there is now a place to offer protection during severe weather.

Officials said Saturday more than 73 people walked through the doors.

The Rankin County safe room is open for anyone living in Rankin County looking to seek shelter from storms.

Severe weather ripped through parts of Rankin County Saturday. High winds and flash flooding were among some of the major concerns, but the county was also under a tornado watch.

The Rankin County Safe room was built thanks to a grant through MEMA and FEMA. 

It can hold up to 1,200 people and Saturday we found several families who took advantage.

"As the weather was getting worse the men in our family, my husband and son-in-law had gone out deer hunting and it was just my daughters and my grandchildren and I, so we felt like it was the thing to do. When we realized the shelter was open we got in the car and came on," said Debbie Pridgen of Rankin County. 

"It's extremely thick concrete walls. This building can take up to 250 miles per hour winds so it can take any tornado that comes through here or high winds. The occupants inside will be safe," added Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey. 

"You would much rather be here safe than in a mobile home or even a conventional home it's much safer here. And that's part of the reason we opened it up on a watch is we don't want to have a tornado warning and people will be in harms way trying to get here," said Randy Gray, Safe Room Coordinator. 

The room is open whenever the National Weather Service issues a tornado watch or above.

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