Couple adds safe room to home after tornado damage

By Chip Washington - bio | email

OLIVE BRANCH, MS (WMC-TV) - A Mississippi couple, terrified after tornados ripped through the Mid-South last year, have built a room in their home guaranteed to keep them safe when the next storm comes.

Last June, after the first of two powerful tornados ripped through the city of Olive Branch, Jon and Vicky Lockhart decided once was enough.  They decided to get some extra added protection in case it ever happens again.

The Lockharts have experienced much in their almost 30-years together, but the events of last June 12th still resonate in their minds. An EF-2 tornado blew through the Olive Branch area causing substantial damage to their home. They have now been displaced for nine months and are almost ready to move back in, but with a brand new edition.

"We're from northern Illinois and their houses have basements. When tornados hit in the south, they do not have basements," the Lockharts explain.

To settle their nerves and fears should the next event happen, they made an investment in safety by having a kevlar storm room installed.

The cost was over $10,000, but they say it is worth every penny to insure their safety. "The kevlar in this room is 6 inches thick and it will withstand winds up to 250 miles per hour,
pretty much up to an EF-5."

The space is four feet by six feet and was installed by Safe Rooms of Texas. It is also a safe room with internal security pins that can lock you in.

They say whether you want to do what they did or not, the advice is still the same: "You just have to be careful wherever you are. In these times when the weather is changing, you just have to be careful."

The Lockharts say they should be ready to move back into their condo within the next 45-60 days. In the meantime, most of the homes in the area have been repaired, but for others there is still some work left to do.

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