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Texarkana officials try and fix tornado sirens

The cities of Texarkana work hard to try and fix a glitch with their tornado sirens.

The cities of Texarkana work hard to fix a glitch with their tornado sirens.


Since Saturday, the devices have gone off randomly at least three different times.


Officials still aren't exactly sure why.


In Northeast Texas, weather can change in an instant, so when a glitch randomly started turning on Texarkana's tornado sirens, officials knew they had a problem.

 

"It all started 11:20 Saturday night," said Texarkana, Texas Fire Chief Eric Schlotter. "We had an accidental malfunction and all sirens in town activated."

 

Since Saturday, all 18 sirens have gone off two more times.


Not only is it annoying, but it also puts doubt of safety in peoples' minds.


"An issue is that anytime they go off unwanted, it takes away from the credibility of the siren," said Schlotter. "We want everyone to be confident if a siren sounds, it's a legitimate emergency."

 

Officials say they're taking this situation very seriously, but that it's also a good reminder to residents because there are other ways that are reliable that can warn if severe weather is here or on the way.

 

"The siren system is not the primary system citizens should rely on for information on severe weather." said Schlotter. "We have several other systems in place: CodeRed, television, radio."

 

The sirens turn on and off by a tone, giving officials an idea of what could be the trigger.

 

"The two likely causes are console malfunction, or interference from an outside source on that channel," said Schlotter. "Somewhere, someone is broadcasting their sound which is close enough to that tone of the sirens to get them to go off."

 

As they work to solve the problem, they assure that if something did happen, everyone in Texarkana would be warned.


The sirens still work, it's just officials are trying to fix why they're randomly going off.


Residents can sign up to receive weather alerts through CodeRed on the City's website: www.ci.texarkana.tx.us




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