‘Needed’ Storm Shelter Opens in Denning After Deadly Tornado

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DENNING (KFSM) – Three and a half years after a deadly tornado ripped through Franklin County, the Denning community is opening a new storm shelter Wednesday (Aug. 20).

Several area leaders will be holding a grand opening ceremony for the new shelter at 11 a.m.

With construction on the facility complete, people in town said they’re thankful the new building has been built.

Tornado-survivor and alderman Randy  Harris said he remembers the storm hitting on the night of May 25, 2011.

“I just remember the winds and the horrible roar,” Harris said. “It didn’t take long and [the tornado] was over in just a few minutes.”

Two people died in the storm that night. The tornado also destroyed city hall, the water department, and several homes in the area.

As people worked to clean up the aftermath, talk started among city leaders and residents about the need for a storm shelter.

“We have so many retired and elderly people that are on fixed incomes and all that can’t afford storm shelters,” Harris said. “Our little community needed this shelter.”

The storm shelter will also double as a community center for those in the area. It came at a price tag of more than $330,000, which city leaders said was paid for by multiple grants.