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Online petition started to get storms shelters in Okla. schools

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Charlie Gile contributed to this story.

An online petition has been started to get storm shelters in Oklahoma schools.

Oklahoma native Chris Shatswell started the petition.

He currently works in Fort Worth, Texas, but grew up in the Sooner State and attended Mid-Del schools.

Shatswell said he used to build storm shelters for a living and wouldn’t think twice about quitting his job to go back to digging the life-saving holes.

PETITION: Tornado shelters at every school in Oklahoma

“After this week’s events, I feel like we let everyone down,” he said.

According to Shatswell’s estimates, a shelter that could hold 100 to 200 people would cost around $10,000 to $20,000.

He said it sounds like a lot of money but he suggested requesting federal funding to help cover the cost to save lives.

Referencing the May 3, 1999 tornado, he said, “Have we not learned anything?”

Chris Shatswell started Okla. school storm shelter petition.

Chris Shatswell started Okla. school storm shelter petition.

Experts said the reason most Oklahoma schools and residents don’t have storm shelters already is because the water table is too high.

Oklahoma’s clay-rich soil also poses a significant hurdle.

Shatswell conceded yearly shelter maintenance would cost between $100 to $200 because of mold and other water-related issues.

He said it is a small cost to pay for the live-saving benefits.

Shatswell said if the shelters saved even one life, the cost would be more than worth it.

PETITION: Tornado shelters at every school in Oklahoma

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