Storm Sirens Need Upgrading

Storm Sirens Need Upgrading
By: Carly O'Keefe
Pinckneyville, IL -Pinckneyville's severe weather warning siren is twenty years old, and city officials say it's not quite what it used to be.

At last test, even folks like Dorothy Blakely who lives within five blocks of Pinckneyville's only warning siren didn't hear the warning.

"I did not. I don't know if we slept too heavy or what, but we didn't hear the last one we had," Blakely said.

Now that the town's single siren has started to fail, Mayor Ron Shirk says Pinckneyville has to find the money to update its warning system.

"We're looking into every grant possibility there is, but truthfully there's not too many," said Shirk.

The mayor doesn't want to just repair the old siren. He says the town needs more sirens in different locations to make sure all 5,600 Pinckneyville residents know when a severe storm is headed their way.

"We've got the season coming before long, and we could have some people hurt," said Shirk.

"I don't think I’ve ever heard the sirens, ever," said Angela Wildermuth who lives across fromPinckneyville High School on the east side of town. "I can hear the fire sirens, but I don't think I’ve ever heard the tornado ones."

"A lot of people I know can't hear it because it isn't loud enough to take it to the northern part of town and I think they need another one someplace to keep everybody safe when there's a storm," said Blakely.

Until the city finds the money to update its warning system, folks in Pinckneyville will hear different sirens in its place. The siren that calls volunteer fire fighters will now sound if there's a storm. Fire trucks will also sound their sirens as well at different locations throughout the city.

"If there's something in the air, we're going to do that until we have the sirens to do it properly," said Shirk.

The mayor says even if the city can't secure grants to help out they'll find the money somewhere. He says it's too important a system not to fix.