Carrolls Creek Fire Department

Carroll’s Creek Fire Department

Carroll’s Creek residents in need of a storm shelter finally have one.

The new shelter, located under the Carroll’s Creek Fire Department at 14452 Firehouse Road in Northport, held its grand opening Saturday about five years after the project was introduced.

The shelter wouldn’t have been possible without a nearly $1 million grant the fire station received after the April 27, 2011, tornado.

“When the storm went through in 2011, we had planned to build a building here anyway, and we found out there was an opportunity to get a grant,” said Carroll’s Creek Fire Chief Tony Clarke. “So we applied for the grant and got awarded December 2012.”

Since that tornado, Tuscaloosa County has been working on building new storm shelters in rural areas so residents have someplace they can get to quickly in severe weather.

Residents who came out for the celebration heard from the people who had a hand in getting the shelter up and running. Many said the new shelter is imperative because the community is growing.

“I’ve noticed that in the longest time I’ve lived up here,” said Carroll’s Creek Firefighter Nick Wilson. “I’ve lived up here all 20 years of my life, and I’ve noticed that it’s growing more and more. And it’s just helpful to have a storm shelter up here.”

Northport resident Angie Sanford agreed.

“I know at our home we don’t have a storm shelter, so to have something this close to be able to come to in bad weather is real comforting to us,” Sanford said.

The shelter is housed under the fire station and holds about 300 people. It was constructed with 14 inches of cement to ensure the walls will not collapse in any severe weather event.

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