Are outdoor tornado sirens obsolete?

Macedonia doesn't use its siren
Posted at 10:52 PM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-01 23:16:48-05

Despite the prevalence of smart phone weather warnings, some neighbors in Macedonia want the city to start using it’s old-fashioned outdoor tornado siren again.

Eric Farmer heard the alert on his phone, but said he'd appreciate hearing duplicate warnings.

“The more the better because minutes count,” Farmer said. “Not everybody’s going to have a cell phone.”

But the city’s police department took to Facebook to tell residents they should invest in a weather radio or make sure their phones are set up to get location-based weather alerts instead.

Mayor Joseph Migliorini said the one siren the city does have doesn’t reach the entire city and installing new ones could be cost prohibitive.

“I don’t know if City Council would want to go out and spend a million dollars,” Migliorini said. 

But City Council President Nicholas Molnar said he was open to having the debate.

“I think today brought to light that maybe we need to readdress it and have a conversation about it because I rely on technology, but I know that not everyone does,” he said.

Mayor Migliorini suggested letting voters decide.

“Would you like to have an alarm system throughout the city?” he asked, “And if you do, then we will have to raise taxes.”

Outdoor sirens are only intended to be hear outdoors. Still, Brunswick turned its sirens back on after a tornado touched down there in 2014.