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Leaders planned shelter before killer twister hit

Jay Reeves
Associated Press
In this March 5, 2019 file photo, Cindy Sanford, center, sifts through the debris with help from her brother, Tim Lancaster, left, and stepfather, Michael Boutwell, while retrieving personal items after a tornado destroyed her home in Beauregard, Ala. The Alabama community hit by a killer tornado worked for months without success to build a storm shelter before the twister struck.

Beauregard, Ala. – An Alabama community hit by a killer tornado worked for months without success to build a storm shelter before the twister struck.

Tiny Beauregard already has one shelter and a church, and a few residents have in-home shelters. But Fire Chief Mike Holden says leaders will still trying to add additional safe space when the EF4 twister hit Sunday, killing 23 people.

Holden hopes the tragedy will open up some funding sources to help with the shelter project.

Federal grant money helped fund the construction of hundreds of shelters after the deadly tornado outbreak of April 27, 2011 in north Alabama. Lee County, home to Beauregard in east Alabama, wasn’t hit by a tornado that day and didn’t share in much of the federal money that helped pay for in-home and community shelters elsewhere.