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http://mountaineagle.com/stories/911-director-honored-by-commission-for-work-on-storm-shelters,8399See more… The Walker County Commission honored E-911 director Roger Wilson on Tuesday for leading the effort to install storm shelters throughout the county.

Seventeen storm shelters have been installed since 2014. Approval for a change of location on three more is currently pending.

Wilson was quick to share credit after accepting a plaque from Commission Chairman Billy Luster at the start of Tuesday’s meeting.

“This wasn’t done by myself. If it wasn’t for these men right here [commissioners], it wouldn’t have happened. If it wasn’t for the Walker Area Community Foundation board of directors and Paul Kennedy, it wouldn’t have happened. The Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund — if it wasn’t for them, it would not have happened,” Wilson said.

WACF and GERF provided the bulk of the match money required to complete each shelter.

A $2.3 million federal grant covered 75 percent of the cost of the project.

Most communities relied on WACF or GERF to provide the other 25 percent.

Residents in Thach, Carbon Hill and Kansas raised the funds themselves, according to Wilson.

The county also provided some in-kind services.

“Everybody worked together, and that’s what it takes,” Wilson said.

Wilson and the commissioners also took a moment to reflect on the dedication of late Thach Fire Chief Terry McCullar, who worked alongside Wilson to secure a storm shelter for Thach residents.

McCullar underscored the importance of the project in January 2014 when Thach became the first community to receive its storms shelter.

McCullar underscored the importance of the project in January 2014 when Thach became the first community to receive its storms shelter.

In an interview with the Daily Mountain Eagle, McCullar recalled the three lives that were lost in Thach during a 2002 tornado outbreak.

“If we can prevent the loss of one life, it will be worth it,” McCullar said.

On Tuesday, Wilson laughed as he recalled how McCullar kept order in a packed shelter during the first tornado warning after the shelter was in place.

“They had 218 people in it, and it’s only rated for 99. He said every time somebody knocked on the door, he would open it and say, ‘Move back,’” Wilson said.