SAMANTHA, Ala. (WIAT) — Residents living in the Samantha community of Tuscaloosa County now have another safe place they can go during severe weather.  

Officials unveiled a new tornado storm shelter Tuesday. Becky Booker says the shelter will save lives when emergencies happen. She is the spokesperson for Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority.

“Having additional storm shelter space means we can save lives it means people can stay alive when severe weather is a threat, so it means people will survive in the Samantha community if needed,” said Booker.

Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority hosted a grand opening ceremony for the second storm shelter in Northside park next to the Samantha volunteer fire station. The new shelter sits next to one built in 2016. Together they can hold 100 people combined.

County Commissioner Stan Acker represents District 1 and says this means so much for the Samantha community.

“But I think it gives people peace of mind and comfort but I hope we never have to use them and the storm never comes through and people won’t have to come inside here but it’s here if they need it,” said Acker.

Both of the storm shelters can withstand windspeeds of 250 mph, the new shelter cost $80,000.