(Forrest City, AR) Forrest City, Arkansas’ five tornado warning sirens are still not fully operational after being out of service for a week.
The sirens are activated by police dispatchers, but changes with the department’s radio frequency caused the sirens to stop working.
Wednesday one of Forrest City’s tornado sirens briefly came to life with an ear shattering fifteen second blast.
The short test comes as technicians work to get all the city’s sirens back on-line after being down for more than a week.
The silent sirens have Angel Johnson concerned, “Whatever the problem is with the sirens, they need to fix them.”
She lives almost in the shadow of one of the tornado sirens, “Normally on, like Saturday morning’s probably around noon, the sirens go off. But last Saturday I didn’t hear the sirens.”
The problem started when the city purchased new police radios and changed frequency “bandwidth” to comply with FCC guidelines.
Seems no one changed the siren frequency to match the police radios, so the system stopped working.
The Forrest City Police Chief didn’t want to go on camera, but said the siren system should be fully operational within a week.
Forrest City’s Mayor was out-of-town Wednesday and unavailable for comment.
Angela Johnson says the sirens are important to everyone’s safety, “We know this is tornado season, so we want to be aware just in case a storm comes through. You know, be prepared for it.”
And Andy Devasier didn’t know how much he missed the wail of the siren, till he didn’t hear it anymore, “Well, it does need to be fixed, it does. It’s nice to have, it really is.”
It’s unclear how the Forrest City Police would activate the sirens or notify the public in the event of severe weather.