New tornado sirens are in the works for Duncan - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

New tornado sirens are in the works for Duncan

DUNCAN, Okla._Duncan police are amping up for spring by proposing an upgrade to the city's storm siren system.

The upgrade would include three large sirens to be installed within city limits, each of the sirens will be able to rotate and they all have backup battery power. The sirens are strong enough to replace several of the city's 23 sirens, many of which are over fifty years old.

The police department is actually who's in charge of the siren system within the City of Duncan. They control the city's communication center, which includes all of the storm sirens and their maintenance. So when some of the signals started losing their power over the decades, they saw an opportunity to not only keep folks in the know when the skies go dark, but to introduce a new generation of safety and technology into town.

The norm with Duncan's storm sirens over the years has always been if there's no power, then they don't work. Many of the sirens still in operation rolled off the assembly line as early as the 1960's. Police Chief Danny Ford said one reason for the new sirens is to fully cover Duncan, "There's some places where the sirens can't...they're just wore out."

With the spring storm season just around the corner, Chief Ford hopes to have the sirens up and operational as soon as possible, "We hope in a couple or three weeks to have these going."

He's talking about three new sirens that are being proposed to city council this week. The sirens, not only fill the gaps in between several of the existing older ones, but also have longer ranges. That gives more areas of the city proper decibel levels so that folks can hear the alarm in all hours of the day or night. And with backup battery power also installed, Duncan residents can ensure they'll hear the call even when the power goes out.

Chief Ford said it's the beginning of a new era for the city's system, "Eventually over time, we'll trade them all out, beginning with the oldest and require the most repairs and try to work our way through. Notification is a safety factor. That's the bottom line. We hope it's an audible sound that will at least be brought to their attention 24/7."

The three sirens carry a total price tag of $43,000 and that money has already been allocated within Duncan's 2014 budget and they'll be ordered as soon as city council approves the upgrade in Tuesday night's meeting. After that, police hope to get them installed as soon as possible.

The new sirens will replace some older ones that are still functioning in town, those will be moved to areas around Humphrey, Fuqua, Duncan and Clear Creek lakes, all within the county where there's currently no coverage.  

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