Outagamie County Siren Update
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
APPLETON, Wis.- Outagamie County is taking measures to make sure their storm warning sirens don't fail again, after a devastating storm this summer. They're installing new radios that activate the sirens, but the emergency system will have to be shut down while the upgrades are underway.
The 47 storm sirens are shut off for 2 weeks straight while crews put in the new equipment. City leaders say this is the perfect time of year for the update because the weather is typically quiet, but others aren't so sure.
Robert Kochren lives in Outagamie County. He knows how important storm sirens are, especially after seeing what happened this summer in Northeast Wisconsin.
"I definitely feel like they need an update, I mean they missed the pretty bad one we had when the last storms came through," said Kochren.
Outagamie County is going from outdated technology dated back to the 1970's to newer, more reliable equipment.
"The new system will be a lot stronger and be able to compensate for any weather issues," said Baycom technician, Pat Neitzer.
They're replacing old radios with new ones that run on a higher frequency.Crews are doing the work now, saying chances for severe weather are low.
"We wanted to get this project done before November, before the snow and ice," said Outagamie County Emergency Management Director, Julie Loeffelholz.
To work on the sirens, crews had to shut off the entire system, meaning if a storm does come through there would be no warning from the county. That though worries Kochren.
"I think that, that puts the community at a high risk while those are off," said Kochren.
Workers plan on completing the work and having the sirens back on by next Friday.
If you're still worried about the sirens being off, crews recommend buying a weather radio and watching the forecast.