Cherokee Village purchases first tornado sirens

Cherokee Village purchases first tornado sirens

CHEROKEE VILLAGE, AR (KAIT) - The citizens of Cherokee Village will soon be warned when severe weather is headed their way.

The city has been working for more than a year to raise enough money to purchase at least one tornado siren.

In the past week, the city has ordered two sirens.

Cherokee Village Office of Emergency Management Director David Woods said the memory of the Super Tuesday tornado that devastated nearby Highland 10 years ago likely motivated citizens and businesses to help raise the money.

"While getting out and about and trying to secure funds I've had so many different people say, 'Well, you know, eight years ago, nine years ago, when that one came through here we were right here,'" Woods said. "Everybody knows where they were, what they were doing, and how fortunate they were."

The city's goal was to get one siren but with the help of state grants and fundraisers held by various community organizations, they were able to afford two of them.

That cost was just over $28,000.

"We started by going through the state," Woods said. "You always start at the state level and see what money's available. We've got a fantastic grant writer. She stepped up and helped us secure some grants. Our State Representative Scott Baltz was able to kick in some and help us out with some state funding."

And the community members filled in the large gap that was left.

"The number of people who came to us and said, 'Hey you know what, if you're going to donate money this is the cause that really needs to be addressed,'" Woods said. "And it's hard to say no to a lifesaver and that's what this is really, a potential lifesaver."

The sirens are expected to arrive later this week.

Woods hopes to have them on poles and tested by next week.

The city did an analysis to see where the first two sirens should go. Right now, 70% of the village will be able to hear them go off.

Woods said they want 100% coverage so the city hopes to raise enough money to buy two more sirens in the future.

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