Repairs, upgrades coming to Jefferson County tornado sirens

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Most of Jefferson County's 254 tornado warning sirens are up and running. A few still need to be repaired.

Despite the availability of other alert systems, there are no plans to move away from the outdoor sirens.

The EMA has been working to fix or replace some of them. The new system, once it is installed, will be state-of-the-art.

The EMA discovered some sirens in the past just didn't work. The county has been putting a lot of money into the system, but the county needed cities to contribute more. Recently, cities agreed to do so.

The county is hiring a local company to do the repairs. A county commissioner says the new polygon system will be even better than in the past.

"It's going to be a lower cost and in addition to that, he is going to be able to install the polygon system. If we have storms in north Jefferson County the sirens won't go off in, say, Hoover," said Jefferson County Commissioner Joe Knight.

The county had projected a maintenance cost of $400 per siren, but that cost has dropped to around $53.

Expect the EMA to launch an educational campaign about the new warning system since everyone won't be getting one anymore.

Despite other methods of getting weather alerts, Knight said people in the county are still demanding to have a tornado warning system.

Copyright 2018 WBRC. All rights reserved.