TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – A project that has been four years in the making has finally been approved. Tybee Island officials say this hurricane shelter is a start in making sure people who live in this community are safe from hazardous weather. 

Alan Robertson, a consultant with Tybee’s Resiliency Projects, made the official announcement at Thursday’s city council meeting. The project will cost a total of $2.9 million with $2.2 million coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s hazard mitigation grant, and the rest coming from the city. 

Grants like this are usually awarded after big weather events like Hurricanes Matthew and Irma.

The shelter will be built right near the fire station on Jones Avenue and will be expected to hold several hundred people. It’s a place where people can go if they are forced out of their homes or businesses.

Officials expect it to be an 18-month project with the groundbreaking sometime in the fall. 

“I would say that this safe shelter is another example of the innovation and leadership that the city of Tybee has shown in building resilience,” Robertson said, “which would also include the beach and dune nourishment, the back river assessment, the stormwater management plan, the natural infrastructure master plan.”

Officials are hoping to have this shelter completed as early as 2025. Hurricane season begins June 1.