SAMANTHA, Ala. (WIAT) — Residents living in the Samantha community of Tuscaloosa County now have another safe place to go whenever severe weather is a threat.

The new shelter is located near Samantha Volunteer Fire Department, next to an older unit that was built eight years ago.

Nicole Phillips and her family think it’s comforting to know Tuscaloosa County government is taking steps to keep the community safer.

“I think it’s great. My stepdaughter goes to school here at Northport and I think it’s great to know she is always protected,” Phillips said. “For us, it’s great if we need to go to a storm shelter, there is somewhere for us to go.”

The new shelter can hold fifty people inside but Probate Judge Rob Robertson says more than one hundred people can fit in both combined if necessary.

“Well it’s great news to have another storm shelter has been opened in Tuscaloosa county,” Robertson said. “This one the new edition was to double the capacity in the Samantha community.”

Phillips says if a tornado should ever be a threat, she and her family would not hesitate to seek safety inside the shelters.

“I think it’s really heartwarming that they will have somewhere to go and not feel fearful of the storms and this community can stay together and be safe as a community,” Phillips said.

The new shelter cost roughly $80,000 to build, and both units are operated by the SVFD. The new shelter was built last month and is now ready for public use.