City triples its number of tornado sirens

Chief Ross Thompson (Source: KAIT-TV)
Chief Ross Thompson (Source: KAIT-TV)

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - One Region 8 community was working to get new tornado sirens as quickly as possible.

Now, they're in and city officials said they will be crucial for the city.

Blytheville just received eight new tornado sirens Friday.

That will triple the number of fully functioning sirens they have right now.

In April, Mayor James Sanders said the city was in need of a new storm siren system.

The sirens they were using hadn't been replaced since the 1980s.

And only three were still functioning at 100 percent.

Now, the city received eight brand new sirens.

Police Chief Ross Thompson said they'll also incorporate one of the fully functioning old sirens to make nine.

During this process, they've also looked at relocating sites for the sirens. Thompson said they're planning on using some existing and some new sites.

"Their technician has been down and he's looked at the city," Thompson said. "He's looked at the setup and everything, and we think we're going to get the best coverage we can for these sirens here."

Thompson said this new system also has an automated feature. When the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning, the system will automatically sound.

Thompson said they'll keep the same amount of officers out patrolling when the threat of severe weather is present.

But this feature will help free up dispatch from operating the current storm system, and instead they can focus on incoming phone calls.

Thompson said they're planning to start installation this week, and the system should be up and running by the end of June.

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