Lots of ways to be warned of severe weather

Posted April 4, 2018 at 9:01 am

With the spring season now officially here, it also brings the added threat of severe weather in the form of severe thunderstorms, lightning, flooding and most dreadfully, tornadoes.

In Clinton County, however, practically all residents in the city and county are in line to be notified of severe weather threats the moment they are issued by the National Weather Service radar, tornado spotters or emergency personnel.

Clinton County’s Director of Emergency Management (EM) Lonnie Scott said last week that local residents were well blessed to have different avenues of receiving warnings and alerts, having some 13 active outdoor warning sirens across the county.

Also, residents in the county who have signed up for the Code Red weather messaging can receive automatic phone calls and texts, either on land line phones or cell phones, alerting them of when severe weather is predicted to occur in their area.

Scott noted that the two newest sirens were installed late last November, with two additional sirens and one existing siren being relocated in an area in the city limits.

One siren last fall was removed from Cartwright and replaced. That siren, which is activated by manual turn on only, was moved near the city water treatment plant where someone is always available to activate the system when notified of pending severe weather threats.

Scott also said another outdoor siren was moved from a location in Wells Bottom last year to a location on North 127 where more residents were able to pick up the sound.

One of the most recently purchased sirens was paid for by the most part with a Homeland Security grant, while others have been purchased by the county.

The EM director noted the county has been budgeting funds annually to purchase a new siren each year to replace older ones that have been in place since the 1970s, or to simply add additional warning systems to areas that may not have clear access to the sirens in place.

Scott noted that Clinton County is fortunate to have as many outdoor warning sirens in place in a county this size.

Scott said that when placing outdoor sirens, “we always look at locations that are the most heavily populated and will give more warning to the most residents.”

Also, residents who wish to receive automated text messages or phone calls alerting them of severe weather can sign up on the weather warning system by logging on to the Clinton County EMS web page, go under the warning tab and put in your information or for further help, call the local EMS office.

Scott noted that land line phone messages only alert people of “tornado” warnings, while those who sign up with cell phones can have the option of receiving other weather alerts, such as severe thunderstorms, flash flooding and so forth.

Each local siren is numbered by activation codes and are set up in the following locations in the county: Albany Elementary School, Albany Redi-Mix, Cartwright, Central Union, North 127, Shipley/Cedar Hill, Highway, Cave Springs, Piney Woods, Concord/Irwin, Speck and Water Plant #2 (the latter which is activated manually.)