Dallas Residents, Councilman Mute Siren Plan

By Omar Villafranca
|  Thursday, Nov 5, 2009  |  Updated 9:13 AM CDT
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Dallas Residents, Councilman Mute Siren Plan

NBCDFW.com

Some North Oak Cliff residents are raising a ruckus over the installation of a tornado siren.

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Dallas Residents, Councilman Mute Siren Plan

The noise is louder than a rock concert and is supposed to save lives, but some Dallas residents don't want a tornado siren in their backyard.

Dallas Residents, Councilman Mute Siren Plan

The noise is louder than a rock concert and is supposed to save lives, but some Dallas residents don't want a tornado siren in their backyard.
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The noise is louder than a rock concert and is supposed to save lives, but some Dallas residents don't want a tornado siren in their backyard.

After several residents saw crews installing the severe-weather warning siren at the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Turner Avenue in North Oak Cliff, they quickly called city officials and put the project on mute.

"This is a residential area," Pollianne Ferguson said. "It's going to lower our property values; when you see something like this, it's just automatic."

"Who is going to want to buy a house with that next door?" she said.

The city of Dallas passed a bond program in 2006 to increase the number of warning sirens in Dallas.

Councilman David Neumann said he put the installation on hold to ask city staff how the sirens' locations were chosen and to ask if those were the best spots. 

"We need to balance that public-safety focus with the neighborhood and the quality of life," he said.

Ferguson said she doesn't want the siren put in right across the street from her home because it will be an eyesore -- and loud.

A rock concert is about 120 decibels, but the siren is about 130 decibels and can be heard more than three miles away.

"I've been told, 'At least you'll be the first one to know that you're going to die,' but it's intrusive," she said. "But there's no way where they're putting it to camouflage it."

Ferguson said she understands the need for the safety sirens but wishes the city would camouflage them or put them in a less visible location.

Residents said they were irked that a small 8-inch-by-12-inch piece of laminated paper at the site was the only notice they had about the siren.

"My husband was leaving late Monday, and they were actually putting it in. That's how we knew," Ferguson said.

"When I saw the 8-by-12 (sign),  it gave me pause," Neumann said. "Are we doing our very best to be visible about the intentions of our city?"

Neumann said he wants to make sure the city does a thorough and complete job of finding answers to his questions.

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