OKC storm shelter program put on hold
OKLAHOMA CITY — A plan to shelter Oklahomans during severe weather hit a major snag in Oklahoma City.
This year city leaders launched a new safe room rebate program.
It turns out the project doesn’t have any money.
The city’s plan relied on federal dollars which simply don’t exist this year.
There is a silver lining to the program being put on hold.
Luckily, the last major tornado outbreak to damage the metro took place back in May last year.
After those devastating storms, the city drew up plans for a storm shelter rebate program, encouraging the installation of more shelters in the city.
The council’s plan called for using federal money to reimburse people 75 percent of the cost to build a safe room, up to $2,000.
In all, 504 homes in the city were selected.
“Oklahoma City would like more people to install storm shelters. This was a great way for them to get it. We’re disappointed we’re not receiving money from FEMA,” city spokesperson Kristy Yeager said.
City leaders said the lack of disasters in the city this year means there is no money to fund the program but that’s not all bad.
“It is disappointing, however, to get the money, we would’ve had to have had more disasters in Oklahoma City. We’re glad that didn’t happen,” Yeager said.
The other bright spot, none of the homeowners selected for the rebates have actually spent any money so far, so the city doesn’t have to worry about refunds.
“People haven’t put in shelters yet, so they’re not out any money. They just have to wait another year,” Yeager said.
Anyone selected for the city rebates can either wait until next year or they can build the shelter themselves right away and not get the rebate.
The city modeled their program after one offered by the state.
The state program is still taking place.