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      Cardinal schools prepared for severe weather season

      The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management are endorsing tornado safe rooms for schools across the state, and Cardinal School District's new tornado safe room became operational last fall.

      It is only one of 40 in the state of Iowa.

      The safe room is located in the cafeteria of the elementary school.

      Steel doors can close over the windows in case of a storm emergency.

      The school hasn't had to utilize the shelter in a real emergency, but students do use it for mandatory drills.

      Superintendent Joel Pedersen says to the other 300 plus schools across the state the storm shelter is worth the investment.

      â??If we need it one time it pays for its investment and I know a lot of times when our parents hear about tornadoes and tragedies they automatically think safe room and our building and I know they rest a little easier knowing that we have one,â?? said Pedersen.

      85 percent of the cost for the shelter came from federal and state funds, and the rest was paid for by the district.

      Next, Cardinal will be putting in an emergency siren that will be connected to the city of Eldon's. It will be sounded through the Wapello County Sheriff's dispatch by this summer.