St. Louis Call Newspapers

County to test warning sirens Monday

St. Louis County will conduct a three-minute test of its new outdoor warning siren system at 11 a.m. Monday.

From both a landmass and population percentage perspective, the network of 185 speakers — each mounted on a 55-foot-high tower — will provide substantially more coverage to residents when a tornado is barreling their way, according to a news release.

“This is a program that could very well literally save lives,” County Executive Charlie Dooley stated in the release. “Much of the old siren system was built in the 1960s, and reached fewer than 90 percent of our residents. With the new sirens, we have very nearly 100 percent coverage.”

Because the old system was installed prior to the heavy subdivision build-up of south and west county, thousands of residents in those areas had no siren umbrella. Now, they do.

The $7.5 million system — the installation of which was overseen by the county’s Emergency Communications Commission — was paid for by revenue from a 0.1-cent emergency communications sales tax approved by voters in 2009. TBG, Inc. was contractor for the project.

The emergency sirens will be activated only when the region is under a tornado warning. If the sirens are activated, residents need to immediately seek shelter, the release stated.

The exception will be during regular tests, which will take place at 11 a.m. on the first Monday of the month.

The new sirens have stacked, omni-directional speakers — that resemble large, steel honeycombs — that are more efficient than the older, rotating horn sirens. This allows the new system to cover more land area with fewer sirens, according to the release.

All of the new sirens also are solar-powered, with integrated storage batteries. As a result, if the power goes out during a severe weather event, the sirens will still be operational, the release stated.

In addition, the new system has voice announcement, or “public address,” capability, which gives county emergency management officials the ability to issue directions to specific areas — such as “boil water” alerts.

    County to test warning sirens Monday

    St. Louis County will conduct a three-minute test of its new outdoor warning siren system at 11 a.m. Monday.

    From both a landmass and population percentage perspective, the network of 185 speakers — each mounted on a 55-foot-high tower — will provide substantially more coverage to residents when a tornado is barreling their way, according to a news release.

    “This is a program that could very well literally save lives,” County Executive Charlie Dooley stated in the release. “Much of the old siren system was built in the 1960s, and reached fewer than 90 percent of our residents. With the new sirens, we have very nearly 100 percent coverage.”

    Because the old system was installed prior to the heavy subdivision build-up of south and west county, thousands of residents in those areas had no siren umbrella. Now, they do.

    The $7.5 million system — the installation of which was overseen by the county’s Emergency Communications Commission — was paid for by revenue from a 0.1-cent emergency communications sales tax approved by voters in 2009. TBG, Inc. was contractor for the project.

    The emergency sirens will be activated only when the region is under a tornado warning. If the sirens are activated, residents need to immediately seek shelter, the release stated.

    The exception will be during regular tests, which will take place at 11 a.m. on the first Monday of the month.

    The new sirens have stacked, omni-directional speakers — that resemble large, steel honeycombs — that are more efficient than the older, rotating horn sirens. This allows the new system to cover more land area with fewer sirens, according to the release.

    All of the new sirens also are solar-powered, with integrated storage batteries. As a result, if the power goes out during a severe weather event, the sirens will still be operational, the release stated.

    In addition, the new system has voice announcement, or “public address,” capability, which gives county emergency management officials the ability to issue directions to specific areas — such as “boil water” alerts.

      South St. Louis County News
      County to test warning sirens Monday