f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Fallout Shelter: Civil Defense at Arena

Posted Monday, November 29, 2010, at 7:30 AM

Southeast Missourian Jan. 15, 1963

Civil Defense supplies arrived here Wednesday and this scene at the Arena Building shows some of the equipment being stored by Park Department employes, Jim Jordon, at left, and Claude Stevens. They are stocking drinking water cans in a corner under the grandstand, and in the left background are cases of other materials. (Photo by G.D. Fronabarger)

Ten locations are being stocked with Tuesday's shipment of supplies. These are the shelters which were found to have a maximum protection factor through an architect-engineer survey last year.

The buildings are the H-H Building, Rueseler Auto Sales, Marquette Hotel, Hirsch's Midtown Grocery, Washington School, Central High School, Houck Field House, First Baptist Church, Junior High School and the Arena Building.

Mrs. H.K. Carter, city civil defense director, said water containers are not being filled at this time. This is to be done under the supervision of the city health department and only after water purification pills under order have arrived.

Supplies for an eleventh location, the Federal Materials mine, were not ordered because no suitable place has been found to store them in the mine.

Mrs. Carter has been seeking enclosed steel vans or trailers for that purpose.

The Federal Materials mine offers a maximum protection for 2,820 persons, more than twice the capacity of the other 10 combined.

The mine would protect the entire population of Cape County to some degree, the survey has found.


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  • Ah, the good old days of the Cold War and Duck 'n Cover.

    I remember when the Civil Defense folks rounded up a bunch of radio active Girl Scouts and housed them in the Arena Building overnight.


    I think I covered a city council meeting where they talked about using the cement plant caves for fallout shelters. Enthusiasm lessened when I asked if anyone knew how long it would take the quarry and caves to fill with water if there was no power to run the pumps.

    -- Posted by ksteinhoff on Mon, Nov 29, 2010, at 7:55 AM
  • Where's the Federal Materials mine? Are they saying the population of Cape Cty. was in the neighborhood of 3,000 people in 1963? Can that be right?

    -- Posted by Maynard on Mon, Nov 29, 2010, at 10:26 AM
    Fred Lynch
    Federal Materials (2424 S. Sprigg) was in south Cape Girardeau near Marquette Cement. Federal was sold to SEMO Stone Co. in 1972.

    The population in 1960 was 24,947, according to Census records.

  • You can see some photos of the "caves" in the cement plant quarry here


    and here


    I plan to run more photos from there in the near future.

    -- Posted by ksteinhoff on Mon, Nov 29, 2010, at 10:32 AM