Wednesday, April 14, 1999

Mayors to get report on storm warning

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        INDEPENDENCE — Kenton County mayors will be updated Saturday on the status of a regional storm warning system for Northern Kentucky's largest county.

        While the need for such a system has been discussed for more than a decade, last week's severe weather in Ohio prompted a renewed interest.

        Last Saturday, the day after a tornado touched down in Cincinnati's northeastern suburbs, Villa Hills residents quizzed Kenton Fiscal Court members on the adequacy of their county's outdoor warning sirens.

        “With all the money that (Kenton County's) sinking into (improved emergency) communications, some residents asked if there was some way that we could tie that into the phone system, and warn (individual property owners) of a tornado or other severe weather,” said Kenton County Commissioner Dan Humpert. “With so much technology coming down the pike, maybe that would be possible.”

        Kenton County Police Chief Mike Browning and Kenton Judge-executive Dick Murgatroyd expressed doubts though, about the feasibility of a phone-activated storm warning system.

        Mr. Murgatroyd said phone systems sometimes are among the first things to malfunction during storms.

        At Saturday's meeting, county officials will discuss how to cover the cost of phasing in 42 warning sirens during the next two to three years, as well as possible locations for the initial sirens. The new sirens would supplement the current 18.

        The Kenton County mayors will meet at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Fort Wright City Building.


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