Emergency siren out of service during tornado season - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Emergency siren out of service during tornado season

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Tyler emergency siren. (Source: KLTV) Tyler emergency siren. (Source: KLTV)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - With severe weather devastating our neighbors to the east, states along the gulf are on alert when it comes to storms. Many people rely on television, radio and smart phones to stay on top of potentially dangerous weather. When all else fails, some cities have outdoor sirens that people depend on.

However, in one Tyler neighborhood, the emergency siren is out of service. The siren is located at Paluxy Drive and East Grande Boulevard, and it has been broken for weeks.

Tyler homeowner Charles Norrell says he always keeps an eye out for severe weather, but weeks ago he realized the emergency siren behind his home was missing. Now, all that's left is the pole that the siren used to stand on.

"We didn't get any notice at all. They didn't send anything out in the mail or call the residents in this area. That would have been very helpful if they could have done that," says Norrell.

The city says the siren was damaged when a car plowed into it weeks ago, but it'll be at least a dozen more weeks until the siren is back in working order.

"Three months is too long. We need it now," persists Norrell.

The city says the siren's new parts have been ordered, but at this point there's nothing else they can do.

"The manufacturer has advised us that it's 10-12 weeks out, and we've done everything that we can to let them know that we need it as soon as possible. Basically, that's just how long it's going to take," says Tyler Police Officer Don Martin.

"We always encourage people-- don't rely on sirens. That's just one form of many that we use to inform the public," adds Officer Martin.

Tyler has 32 severe weather sirens, and officials say all of them are working except for the one near Norrell's home.

"Thirty one of them are on a pole [except for] ours. I just want it back. That's all I'm asking for," says Norrell.

For now, the closest siren to Charles' home is about a mile away near Jeff Davis Road. Norrell says his elderly neighbors can't hear the Jeff Davis Road siren during a storm and that leaves them vulnerable.

"I'm doing this for the community and the ones that live around me. My safety is their safety,"  he says.

This Tuesday, the City of Tyler will be testing all of their emergency sirens. That test will take place at 11 a.m. To make sure everything is working properly, Tyler Police say they'll have officers posted at each siren during the test.

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