Delaware County tornado shelter fails to open during storms

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DELAWARE COUNTY (WCHM) — A shelter designed to keep people safe during severe weather failed Saturday night after two tornado warnings were issued for Delaware County.

The shelter at Delaware State Park remained locked Saturday night despite the warnings.

According to one Facebook post, approximately 100 people were standing outside the shelter waiting to enter during the worst of Saturday’s weather.

State park officials said on their Facebook page that the shelter malfunctioned and they are looking into what happened.

In a statement, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources apologized for the incident.

The statement reads:

“Delaware County Emergency Management and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources consider the safety and well being of our guests our top priority. Effective immediately, temporary measures are in place to ensure the shelter at Delaware State Park is accessible. Our agencies are working together to determine exactly why the designated shelter failed to open in a timely manner Saturday evening. Our staff responded as quickly as possible to resolve the delay, and we are working to make certain it doesn’t happen again. We apologize to any guests who were unable to seek immediate shelter.”

The shelter was officially unveiled just last month. The 75-feet wide, 28-feet tall dome can accommodate up to 853 people. It is designed to withstand winds of more than 200 miles per hour.

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