Tornado sirens wrongly activated; ‘It was a mistake,’ officials say

Published: Sep. 25, 2022 at 4:06 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 25, 2022 at 6:03 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) -Many people were out and about Saturday night at festivals and other community events when tornado sirens across the region sounded.

While the threat of a tornado was real for many areas, a question still stands. Why did Jonesboro’s sirens go off if it wasn’t under the threat of the storm?

Some could say it is better safe than sorry in a situation like this, but with the crowd downtown at a barbeque festival, panic from these sirens could have caused big issues.

Region 8 News reached out to Bill Campbell, director of communications for the City of Jonesboro, about the sirens being activated on Sept. 24.

“It was addressed with the person that there was no direct impact on Jonesboro. This employee made a mistake, and the supervisor called and reported that it was a mistake,” said Campbell in an email to Region 8 News. “This will lead to a policy change.”

Campbell said that there will be a “fail-safe” in the future. A dispatcher must get approval from a shift leader before activating the sirens.

While mistakes like these can happen, it’s important always to take the sirens seriously.

The Region 8 News Weather Team says these outdoor sirens are telling you to get to a safe place. After you are in a safe place, get on the Region 8 News weather app or watch live coverage on air to assess the threat level for your area.