Community tornado sirens: Why some areas have them and others don’t

Tornado siren
Tornado siren(KSLA)
Updated: Mar. 24, 2021 at 2:41 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Spring is the time of year when our area is most likely to see severe weather events like tornadoes. While some parishes in the ArkLaTex are equipped with community tornado sirens, not all areas have them.

Tornado sirens serve as an alert system to notify those who are outside that there is a tornado approaching.

Benton Police Chief Steve Collier said they invested in a siren about 10 years ago.

“The idea is to give the residents enough time to take cover and it warns that a tornado is in the area,” he said.

Several communities in the ArklaTex have them, like in Natchitoches, Marshall and Benton.

KSLA Chief Meteorologist Jeff Castle said over the last few years we’ve averaged about 40 tornadoes in the ArkLaTex.

“Tornado sirens are one way to get weather alerts, but it’s important to remember they’re only able to be designed to be heard if you are outside,” he said.

Places like Caddo, Bossier and Desoto parishes don’t have the sirens. Many leaders say the issue is the cost to buy a siren and continued maintenance.

“It’s 36,000 thousand by the time you buy the siren, the computer, everything that hooks it up how they link it in,” said Chief Collier.

To stay up-to-date with the latest weather alerts, download the KSLA First Alert Weather app.

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