Safe Rooms Part of Washington Tornado Recovery

December 3, 2014

A year after a tornado devastated the central Illinois community of Washington, city officials say one in 20 home rebuilding projects include a reinforced safe room.

Washington director of planning and developing Jon Oliphant tells the (Peoria) Journal Star that the rooms are designed for enhanced security in case of a disaster. He says there’s “definitely more safe rooms than we saw prior to the tornado.” The November 2013 tornado damaged more than 1,100 homes in Pekin, East Peoria and Washington. Three people died.

Resident Andrea Bowers says she thinks of her safe room as a “concrete walk-in closet.” The tornado wiped her family’s home off its foundation. She says the new safe room is vital to her healing.

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