Thursday, April 27, 2000

City must wait for tornado sirens

Middletown on long list for installations

By Janet C. Wetzel
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Monroe will have its fifth tornado siren installed next week, just as tornado season gets into full swing. But Middletown's wait is not over.

        Middletown's sirens have been delivered but the installer's list is so long they might not be installed for weeks, said Fire Capt. David South.

        “Right now they won't even give me an idea,” Capt. South said. “They said it depends on how many people are ahead of you. We don't know if we will get them before the primary tornado season is past, but we certainly hope so.”

        The primary season runs from early April through early July, said Don Hughes, National Weather Service meteorologist.

        “In April and May there's a tendency toward stronger winds, and there's more frequency in June and July,” Mr. Hughes said.

        Tristate tornadoes have prompted record sales of sirens recently. Liberty and Union townships, Trenton and Middletown bought their first sirens within the past year. Middletown bought 10 sirens for $132,500.

        Liberty's seven sirens recently were installed and will be tested for the first time at noon May 3.

        When Monroe's new siren is installed, an existing one will be relocated from East Avenue, said City Manager Don Whitman.

        One will be installed just off Ohio 63 near the Monroe Commerce Center, and the other off Garver Road, north of Reed Road, said Police Capt. Tom Bishop.

        The other three sirens are in Mound Cemetery, the fire station on Ohio 4 and on Britton Lane, he said.

        The five should cover the entire city, Mr. Whitman said.

        Susan Davis, Middletown assistant city manager, said that while the city is eager to have the sirens installed, residents are cautioned not to depend solely on sirens for weather warnings.

        “We would, of course, still recommend that people have their NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather-alert radios because they're still the best protection when you're inside a building,” Ms. Davis said.


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