Kokomo opens up fire stations as tornado shelters

(WISH Photo/Daniel Miller)

KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) — Some people in Kokomo now have a place to seek shelter in the event of a tornado or severe weather.

All six of the city’s fire stations will serve as storm shelters to anyone who lives in mobile home parks. City leaders made the change after hearing concerns about mobile home safety.

“It was pretty scary,” said Darrin Griffith of Kokomo.

Six months after a tornado hit the city of Kokomo, you can still see signs of the damage it left behind to some homes and businesses.

“Just thinking back it’s pure relief knowing that you made it out in one piece and you didn’t get hit,” said Christina Bordner of Kokomo.

The tornado hit Kokomo Nov. 17.

“I was in bed at the time and my wife had to come down and get me and it was blowing pretty hard,” Nickolas Campbell said.

Griffith and his wife were in their mobile home, but took shelter in a nearby motel.

“Tornado warnings, the sirens went off here and we didn’t know where we could go because we have my wife and I and our cats and everything,” he said.

But now mobile home residents in Kokomo have a secure place to go during severe weather. The Kokomo Fire Department has opened all six of it’s fire stations. Each one, including Fire Station No. 2, will serve as temporary storm shelters.

“I think it’s a fabulous idea,” said Frank White of Kokomo.

The shelters will serve anyone who lives in the city’s mobile home parks like White and his wife. They also manage the Sun-Way-East Mobile Home park.

On Saturday they received a letter about the storm shelter’s opening up from the city of Kokomo.

“Knowing that we’ve got a place that’d be safe because mobile homes are not safe,” White said.

Christina Bordner lives in the Maple Run Mobile Home park. She said she hopes she doesn’t see another tornado, but in the event another one threatens Kokomo, she said there’s comfort knowing she and her family will be safe.

“I have two kids and no family here and nobody that we can rely on to be able to go to their homes and ask them to take us in,” she said.

White said he plans to make copies of the letter and give them to the residents who lives in his community.

If you’d like to see the addresses of the stations click here.

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