PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) The City of Faith is receiving a grant it will use to build a multi-use community safe room which will serve as a public shelter against severe storms. Nicole Prince, Hazard Mitigation Officer for the South Dakota Office of Emergency Management, says the $800,000 grant comes through the Hazard Mitigation Grant program, which is a 75-25 percent federal-to-local match program. Prince says in a press release that the federal share is through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the building will be used not only as a gym and cafeteria for the Faith School, but will also offer protection to occupants during extreme wind storms and tornadoes. The new safe room will hold 875 people. In writing the application for the grant, city officials indicated that Faith typically gets at least two extreme wind events each year. In the past 30 years, the storms have caused at least 40 injuries and more than $8 million dollars in property and crop damage. Most recently in 2006, two extreme wind storms downed trees, knocked out power and caused more than $250,000 in damage to Faith. Residents have been without a public shelter since the previous school was condemned in 2004 and later torn down.
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