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Tornado shelter to be built at Graner Park

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The Morton County Park District has received a federal grant to build a tornado shelter at Graner Park, 19 miles south of Mandan along the Missouri River.

It’s the first tornado shelter in North Dakota to receive FEMA funds. FEMA will pay 70 percent of the cost, which is $34,000 of the $46,000 total.

"Due to the large number of campers that use Graner Park, and the number of trees, it would be a benefit to have a shelter located down there, in a place where people can go to protect themselves from severe thunderstorms and tornadoes," said Morton County Emergency Manager Tom Doering.

The shelter will be above ground. It would hold up to 45 people, and would be able to withstand an EF-5 tornado. That means winds of up to 250 miles an hour.

Doering says construction begins this week, and the shelter should be ready by the end of the month. He says Morton County will apply next year for a similar shelter at Harmon Lake, north of Mandan.

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