City of Elgin to Install New Storm Sirens - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

City of Elgin to Install New Storm Sirens

ELGIN Okla_ The City of Elgin is adding two new storm sirens to help protect residents from storm threats.

Mayor Larry Thoma said a $45,000 grant from the Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments will pay for them. The city currently has only one siren in the central part of town, but due to Elgin's rapid expansion, several neighborhoods can't hear it. Thoma said these new sirens will place the entire Elgin community under a blanket of safety.

When it comes to severe storms, things can take a dangerous turn in seconds. So, the fact that several neighborhoods couldn't hear the sirens troubled city officials. They wanted to find a way to pay for new sirens, without dipping into city funds. This grant couldn't have come at a better time.

Thoma said the city wants to make sure everyone hears the siren's blaring call.

"It can reach those new subdivisions," Thoma said. "We hope to put one out near Kinney Road'. That would reach Shadow Ridge, Rock Bridge, and Shadow Acres. Hopefully it will be strong enough."

Mayor Thoma said in the event of a storm right now, firefighters would have to go back to the station to push a button to sound the alarm. He said the new sirens can be activated remotely via radio, saving precious time off of the emergency response.

"Our fire department has a very quick response time," Thoma said. "They are also fathers and parents. They're going to be able to, as they take care of their own families, set those off, react to their families, and communicate at the same time through the radio."

Residents who live in the neighborhoods deaf to the storm siren say the new alarms will make them feel safer.

"We'd feel a lot more secure," resident Lia Gonzalez said. "We're new to Oklahoma. So, not being able to be on top of weather that is so severe here worries me. Coming from Michigan, we don't have weather like this. So, that definitely reassures me."

"Knowing that they can just spot something like that, make a call, and immediately set off a siren and give us plenty of warning, I feel a lot better that way," resident Steven Brent said. "You just never know. Tornados come up out of the blue sometimes."

Mayor Thoma said the new sirens can be heard through a near two-mile range. They cost about $19,000 each. He said he hopes to have them installed by April.

 

 

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