DeSoto County Adding More Tornado Sirens

DeSoto County Adding More Tornado Sirens

Their goal is to make sure the county is as prepared as possible, that includes being able to warn every citizen of severe weather.
DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - What if a tornado like the one that hit Oklahoma struck here? DeSoto County's Emergency Management Agency is asking that question this week.

Their goal is to make sure the county is as prepared as possible, that includes being able to warn every citizen of severe weather.

"I see it really having the potential to save some lives after what happened in Oklahoma." Keeping people safe is DeSoto EMS Director Bobby Storey's job.

This week that means he's making sure there are enough tornado sirens to cover the entire county. "We found gaps in the polygon, that is the overlap of the sirens, so it doesn't just quite make it."

"If you're within a city you can hear it," says supervisor Lee Caldwell. "If you're in a rural area, you don't know it's there until it's upon you."

There are about 60 sirens from Southaven to Hernando to Olive Branch. Outside of the city limits, though, it can be hard for people to hear the warnings.

This week, county supervisors announced they've gotten a $130,000 grant to add five sirens in rural areas.

They'll be installed at Lewisburg, ACI and Nesbit fire stations and in Buena Vista and the baseball fields near Walls.

"We looked at where we'd get the most bang for our bucks and protect the most people," says Storey. "They can hear that siren and they'll know to go to safety," adds Caldwell.

"We're constantly growing as the population grows," Storey says. "We're going to have to keep adding to this. This is a never ending thing we have to deal with."
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