Hurricane-proof welcome center opening on Alabama coast

AP News
Posted: Jul 01, 2016 6:38 AM

GRAND BAY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama is adding a new tool in its plan to prepare for tropical weather: a hurricane-proof welcome center near the coast.

Gov. Robert Bentley and others are cutting the ribbon Friday on a new state welcome center at Grand Bay on Interstate 10 at the Mississippi line.

But this isn't an ordinary welcome center. The governor's office says it's designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, which has winds in excess of 156 mph.

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Officials say the welcome center will be included in the state's disaster plan as a staging area for emergency response workers and vehicles during a hurricane.

The welcome center is less than 5 miles from the Gulf Coast.