Nashville Tornado Sirens And NOAA Weather Radios Questioned
by Chris Cannon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The National Weather Service issued several tornado warnings Thursday night, prompting tornado sirens and weather radio warnings.
In Nashville, many people wondered why the county's tornado sirens seemed to sound so often.
"You had several tornado warnings that were out in Davidson County, as many as three at one time," explained Chief Charles Shannon with the Metro Office of Emergency Management.
When there is an warning issued for a specific part of Davidson County, OEM activates the siren system country-wide.
"It will sound within that ten minute intervals, forever how many times for 15 minutes, 18 minutes," Shannon explained.
As long as there is an active tornado warning in the county, the sirens will sound until the last warning has expired.
Thursday night at 7:56 p.m. the National Weather Service had a computer malfunction that affected its NOAA weather radio alert system.
"We believe it had something to do with the database. That's something we are troubleshooting and correcting," said Mike Davis, with the NWS.
Right away the staff moved into emergency mode to get warnings out to the public.
"Within 10 seconds of that warning, doing its burst, we got the notification and we instinctively put our headset on and went live," Davis explained.
The office did not miss a single warning, and even included more information than normal during its live broadcasts.
The weather radio system was but up and running by 10:35 p.m.