Marion County family gifted free storm shelter

A Palmyra man won a free storm shelter at KHQA’s Storm Spotters class last month.

That winner, Anthony Williams, decided to give the Safe and Sound Storm Shelter to his brother-in-law, Josh Lee.

Friday morning, Hannibal Concrete Products delivered the shelter to Lee’s home in Marion County.

It’s not every day someone gets a free tornado shelter.

“It’s the best feeling in the world anybody could have, owning a manufactured home out here in the middle of rural Missouri,” Lee said.

A few weeks ago, Josh Lee and his family attended a storm spotters class to learn more about tornados and severe weather. They left with a free shelter.

“My brother-in-law actually won it for us,” Lee said. “He was sitting there, we were both pretty excited. It was just amazing to win it. It was definitely a praise that he won it and was able to give it to us.”

Lee made arrangements to have the shelter delivered and installed in his backyard as soon as he could.

“I called Hannibal Concrete Products, set the delivery up for Friday morning, and we started digging a hole Tuesday evening,” Lee said.

A two-man crew arrived Friday morning and had the shelter installed within an hour.

“Well, will back up to the hole, we make sure they dug it big enough, then we set the bottom half in seal it,” Hannibal Concrete Products driver Jim Lain said. “Then we just set the top half on it.”

Lee said the lives of his wife Cassie and six-year-old daughter Alyssa could be in danger if a tornado strikes.

“We use to have to drive 15 minutes to my parents house, get in the basement if there was a severe storm,” Lee said. “Now we’re three seconds out the back door.”

The time they save could be the time that saves their lives.

“You don’t have very much time, you know, if there is a storm. There’s no storm sirens to let you know that, all you have is a TV and radio,” Lee said. “So it’s very, it makes you feel great to have a storm shelter like this, to be able, right out your back door.”

In addition to being thankful for his brother-in-law’s generosity, Lee said, “We got this from the good lord. He put it in our hands, put it in our backyard for us.”

The Safe and Sound Storm Shelter that Lee received typically sells for around three thousand dollars.

By Derek Franke: Friday, April 11th 2014

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