June 9, 2009
No tornado siren outages reported Monday, officials say
A RacinePost reader sent us an email saying she didn't hear a tornado siren Monday during the severe storms in the county. She lives on the north side near the Racine Zoo. I can attest the alarms went off Monday on the south side, so we checked with city and county officials to see if any sirens were out.
The answer: probably not.
David Maack, Racine County emergency management coordinator, said he received no reports of sirens out on Monday. Maack, a Racine alderman whose district is on the city's north side, said it's not surprising someone didn't hear a siren. They're not designed to be heard inside of homes, and the storm could have masked the alarm. Also, Maack noted all sirens in Racine County are triggered by the Sheriff's Department at the same time. So, a severe storm on the west end can result in sirens going off on the east end of the county, even if there's no severe weather on the east end.
I suspect that's what happened Monday. We heard the tornado alarm go off Monday while it was still sunny outside. When we turned the TV on, severe weather was reported on the northwest end of the county.
Maack said Racine County's sirens were turned off Monday prior to severe weather alerts on TV.
Tom Eeg, assistant commissioner of public works for the city of Racine, said the tornado sirens in the city were tested and repaired last week. A few sirens had to have batteries replaced, he said.
Eeg said he received no reports of siren outages Monday.