No official public tornado shelter in Hutchinson

Hutchinson residents who went to the city’s law enforcement center during a tornado earlier this month were allowed to stand in the lobby but couldn’t go to the basement.

The Hutchinson News reports Reno County officials say no official public tornado shelter exists in Hutchinson because of liability and safety concerns.

Reno County Emergency Management officials say public storm shelters aren’t available because the public should not be driving during a tornado. They also say owners of public buildings or businesses could face liability issues if someone is injured during a tornado.

During a July 13 tornado in Hutchinson, several people were told the law enforcement center’s basement was a restricted area.

Hutchinson Police Capt. Troy Hoover says the basement contains several computers, security concerns, sensitive information and evidence.