Montgomery County cities prep for severe weather season by installing new warning sirens

Montgomery County cities prep for severe weather season by installing new warning sirens (WKEF/WRGT)

WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio (WRGT/WKEF) -- If you live in Montgomery County, you may have heard tornado sirens Monday afternoon. Severe weather season is quickly approaching, and cities are getting ready by installing new warning sirens.

Some sirens in the area can be decades old, and no longer in production. The age can make fixing them costly, as parts become hard to find. West Carrollton Fire Chief Chris Barnett said these new ones will keep people safe through the harshest conditions.

“The original sirens were installed in 1982,” Chief Barnett.

1982 is the same year the CD was invented. Chief Barnett is glad to see safety meet the 21st century.

“This is another tool that we help warn the public,” Chief Barnett said.

24 of these new sirens are in Montgomery County spanning nine communities. Some were tested for the first time on Monday.

“They're not designed to penetrate normal buildings,” Chief Barnett said, “If you're outside activities, biking, hiking,” He said those are the times it’s useful.

The old sirens boom less than a mile, but Chief Barnett said the new ones can carry about 1.4 miles. If power goes out, a new backup battery kicks in.

“It could very well be that the first storm takes out the power, but the second storm is the worst of the storms,” Chief Barnett said.

The worst did hit just north of Clayton. A tornado went through Phillipsburg back in 2016. Clayton didn't have sirens until installing these new ones.

“You know we sure could use one I think,” Clayton resident Glady Benvenuto said, “Better safe than sorry.”

The new tech cost West Carrollton roughly $42,000, the other half of the funds was picked up by a State Homeland Security Grant.

“They're more efficient so we can use less sirens,” Chief Barnett said.

The sirens are not just for severe weather; they can be used for hazardous material spills or even terrorism. If they go off, your first move should be to head inside.

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