Tornado sirens malfunction again in Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For the second morning in a row, people in East Memphis woke up to a blaring tornado siren even though there was no severe weather.

"It was very loud, very loud. It sounds like it's in the bedroom," said Sharon Spears. "It went on for about ten minutes."

The siren was behind White Station Elementary. It sent her into a panic when she heard it.

"Oh sure. You always think that. You check the weather. They're talking something else and you think, 'Eh, not today,'" she said.

It seems to be a malfunction that has now happened at the same time two days in a row.

The National Weather Service in Memphis tweeted they got word of the sirens going off, but there was no severe weather threat. They also stated they "understood frustrations" but they don't control the sirens.

On Thursday afternoon, Memphis Fire Director Gina Sweat sent a statement saying, "We are aware of the siren malfunction in the White Station area. We began the process yesterday to identify the issue and we will continue working until the issue is resolved. There are 109 sirens in the City of Memphis which provide overlapping coverage enabling us to alert the public adequately in case of a weather related event. While the one siren was taken offline, the remaining sirens appear to be functioning properly. We apologize to the citizens who have been inconvenienced. Rest assured that your safety is our primary concern."

"Sirens are still vitally important to keep people safe," said WREG's weather expert Tim Simpson.

He said it's important that the sirens are working.

"Even though it's old school, it's still very, very applicable today. Because a lot of people get their tornado warnings when they hear those siren," he said.

Spears says she can attest and hopes the siren is fixed soon.

"I was in three tornadoes up [Nebraska]. And each time we got out ahead of time," she said.

The National Weather Service also tweeted that another siren went off in Cordova, but that was due to a car crash.

We will let you know when the siren is fixed.

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