Warning siren test planned for today

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 29, 2000

Staff Writer

March 28, 2000 10 PM

Although the sun may be shining, residents in the City of Troy are likely to hear the sound of the newly installed early warning siren today.

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City officials recently announced the early warning siren system is almost complete and, barring any bad weather, it will be tested today.

Troy Police Chief Anthony Everage said the technicians plan to begin testing of the sirens around 10 a.m.

"We want to go through every aspect to make sure everything is the way it’s supposed to be," Everage said.

The system, which will consist of nine sirens that can be activated from the Troy Police Department’s dispatch in the event of a tornado warning or when something poses a danger to the public.

The three-minute-long siren will sound in the event of severe weather or another emergency. All of the sirens are set up around the city so that the tones will overlap and provide warnings to the greatest amount of people.

Eight of those sirens have already been installed and the entire nine-siren system, which was financed totally by the Troy City Council, cost approximately $150,000.

"The early warning system is one of the most advanced systems on the market that alerts communities about dangerous weather and emergencies," Everage said. "This system has numerous options which we hope will provide many years of reliable and immediate service to the citizens of Troy."

The idea of installing the sirens took root when Hurricane Opal came through Troy a few years ago, Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said.

Troy City Council President John Witherington said "a lot of work has gone into this project" to ensure the safety of those living in the city limits.

City officials talked with those in other municipalities about the siren systems they have installed to make sure Troy had the most modern equipment available.

"We know it will completely cover the City of Troy," Lunsford said of the siren system.

He said the biggest areas of concern were the schools and business districts since a tornado can hit at any time.

The system has battery backup and phone lines to each siren, which will notify the police department if someone is vandalizing it.

Weather permitting, the sirens will be tested at noon on the first Wednesday of each month.

"We hope and pray we’ll never have to use it except during the monthly test," Lunsford said.

Everage said residents should tune into a local radio station or other broadcast media if they hear the siren. Citizens should not call 911 to report the siren because doing so makes it more difficult for those with actual emergencies to get help, he said.