PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - The City of Paragould purchased two new tornado sirens to replace older ones with issues; officials say it’s better than fixing issues as they happen.
Emergency Services Director Michael McCammon says they began running a weekly siren test in June 2018.
That’s when they started noticing issues, but the siren would sound in an emergency.
Since 2018, a total of four sirens have been purchased and installed.
Last week, the siren at the Francis Bland & Threlkend Fields Baseball Complex and one beside the water tower were replaced.
“We did have some that were not functioning correctly, that malfunctioned, but at no time did we not have an alerting system,” he says.
McCammon says they were replacing battery backups and other electronics frequently.
New siren costs anywhere from $13,000-$14,000 each.
He says it’s easier to buy a new siren system than replacing parts, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The replaced sirens were purchased out of the City’s reserves, according to McCammon.
While the siren’s life expectancy is unknown, the original 12 sirens in the city date back to 2005.
“We might have a brand new one go out tomorrow. It’s just hard to say. We’ve had some take lightning strikes, power surges that have caused problems,” he says. “A lot of it is wear and tear on the sirens because they’re not used that often.”
McCammon says he wants to start a plan to replace a few sirens each year to cut down on maintenance costs.