March 18, 2010

New Storm Siren Fails During Drill

Traditionally tornado drills are used to remind students how to protect themselves or employees where to go in case of an evacuation. But Thursday’s statewide severe weather drill proved even more valuable for the City of Memphis, which learned its new warning siren was not functioning properly.

Shortly after the 1:30 siren sounding, the Scotland County Sheriff’s Department began receiving calls that the new siren located in the HUD housing complex, did not sound. The city’s old siren, located just off the city square, did sound during the test as scheduled.

Emergency Management Director Bryan Whitney contacted the siren manufacturer shortly after the failed test on March 11th. Workcrews traveled to Memphis and began repairs on Monday. After a failed test Monday morning, the problem was identified. A faulty internal piece for the system will be repaired later this week to bring the system back into operation.

The work is being done under warranty by L-B Electronics of Eldon.

Whitney indicated the problem has led to the city implementing a monthly test schedule for the new siren to insure availability in time of need. The tests will be performed on the first Monday of the month at 10:00 a.m.

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