Tornado Warning Sirens De-energized

Warning sirens will no longer sound within the City of Sturgeon Bay to alert residents to seek indoor shelter when a tornado threatens. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to de-energize the six outdoor warning sirens that were strategically placed around the city for optimal coverage about 24 years ago.

Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief Tim Dietman said the sirens – which sound only when the National Weather Service notifies dispatch of a tornado threat –  require either significant repairs or full replacement at about $25,000 per siren. Quicker forms of severe-weather notification, such as cell phones and other devices, have made the sirens less necessary.

β€œIs it money well spent when [almost everyone] has a phone that alerts you faster than a siren?” asked Alder Dan Williams, who chairs the Community Protection and Services Committee, out of which the issue evolved.

The council agreed to take the sirens off-line for now and launch a public-information program in the spring to educate people about how they can best track severe-weather events.

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