Storm Shelter Complaints Increasing In Oklahoma

Wednesday, September 3rd 2014, 7:45 pm
By: News 9

Since last year's deadly storms, tornado shelters are being installed more than ever before, but with the increase of business comes more problems.

News 9 was on scene as one contractor and homeowner met face to face.

In the last two years, the Better Business Bureau reports 47 complaints have been filed specifically on home storm shelters.

At News 9, we receive similar phone calls almost weekly, so we went to investigate one complaint.

“When I got down into it, it just felt hollow,” homeowner Shelly Harrison said.

The welding of the shelter is the cornerstone of Harrison's frustration.

"I want nothing to do with the shelter, because I feel the whole integrity has been compromised,” Harrison said.

In hopes to ease her mind, Harrison asked for a second opinion.

A different shelter company came to her home for an inspection, and that contractor wrote it was nothing but a blob of weld splatter, and he would not trust the welds integrity.

According to Harrison, she tried to call the company that installed her shelter, Kustom Krete Concrete & Construction, Inc.

A company that, on-paper, has a pristine record, an A+ rating with the BBB and just two complaints in six years. One was fully resolved, and the other was Harrison's.

After she didn't get an answer, News 9 called the owner, Richard Yarber, and he agreed to meet at Harrison's home.

When Yarber arrived, it became a classic case of he said-she said.

Richard explained to us the shelter is, in fact, safe, but Harrison continued to see otherwise.

“I'll fix whatever makes her happy and secure,” said Yarber. “If I weld it up, it's not ever going to make any difference. If I don't weld it up, it's not ever going to make a difference.”

“I don't understand why two different people told me quite the contrary to that,” Harrison said.

The two eventually agreed to an inspection by the city.

The inspection was completed, and city officials told News 9 they would fail the shelter.

Yarber agreed to continue to help Harrison.

The city did not previously do an inspection, because a permit had not been filed, which, according to the city, is the responsibility of the contractor or the homeowner.