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Line Work Will Increase Weather Sirens’ Reliability

City Electric Department workers strung cable Friday for the emergency warning sirens. Here Brandon Richardson (in bucket), Michael Richardson, and Dakendrick Gooch cross Blackmur Drive. – Photo by Jack Gurner

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – The City’s emergency warning sirens will cost less to operate and be more reliable after the installation of 2.8 miles of cable late last week.

The City had been paying approximately $500 a month for clear telephone lines linking the three sirens with the police station.

On several occasions the sirens have failed to sound or have gone off on their own because of problems with the system’s wiring.

“Seven months of phone bills will pay for the materials on this job,” said Electric Department Manager Joe Newman. “It should provide a lot more reliable service and save a ton of money.”

Electric Department workers strung wire on city-owned utility poles from the siren located just off South Main near the hospital to the siren located just south of the depot downtown. From there they connected to the police station and then to the siren near the National Guard Armory on Wise Street.

Newman worked on the project with Fire Chief Michael Defer, who oversees the emergency operations center at the police station.

Defer said that the city will continue to test the system the first Tuesday of every month at 8 a.m. “weather permitting.”

All three sirens worked properly during the latest test conducted this past Tuesday.

Any other time that the sirens sound, citizens should take heed, Defer said.  They are sounded when a tornado warning has been issued for the area or if a tornado has been sighted by law enforcement or emergency personnel.

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