City plans to upgrade tornado sirens

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - With recent storm warnings, the city of Blytheville is looking out for resident safety by making plans to upgrade their tornado sirens.

According to Police Chief Ross Thompson, the city has several tornado sirens that don't work.

Thompson said the city's tornado siren system was originally installed back in the mid-1970's.

However, the company that the city is currently working with stopped making upgraded parts for the system.

They tried fixing the issue by taking parts from one siren to keep the other systems going; but some may still not be heard far away during a tornado warning.

"We do have some sites that appear to be full functional,and other sites that don't," he said. "Once the determination has been made, that there is an immediate or imminent threat of a tornado to the city, the officers will then take to the streets with their PA systems and their sirens, going up and down slowly saying this is a tornado warning take cover. So, we try to hit some of those areas that may not hear the tornado siren. We try to supplement that with the officer."

Thompson said they're in the early planning stages of upgrading their tornado systems.

The city is in talks with some companies interested in installing new sirens.

Once they lay out the estimated cost and the sites that need an upgrade, the Finance Committee will move forward with a decision.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android