McKinney: No Need to Sound Alarm on Broken Sirens

By Randy McILwain
|  Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009  |  Updated 11:00 PM CDT
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North Texas Sees Hail, Damage From Storms

KXAS

McKinney fire Chief Frank Roma says the city's storm sirens are designed to alert people who are outside to take cover during severe weather.

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McKinney: No Need to Sound Alarm on Broken Sirens

City leaders say McKinney's outdoor severe weather warning system worked despite malfunctions.
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Two of McKinney's severe weather warning sirens have been broken for weeks, and a third malfunctioned during Tuesday's storms, but the fire chief said there's no need for alarm.

The outdoor warning system was activated Tuesday night as a powerful storm system passed through Collin County. Neighbors in east McKinney near Wattley Park reported hearing sirens while they were indoors, despite that the siren in the park is broken.

Fire Chief Frank Roma said it is proof the system worked, because it's designed to alert people who are outside to take cover during severe weather, not people who are already indoors.

According to the city, repairs on two broken sirens will cost nearly $30,000. New sirens are already on order. A third siren that suffered a battery failure during the storm has already been repaired.

McKinney has 20 such sirens around the city. When one fails, the sound from other sirens are supposed to overlap and alert people who are outdoors of danger.

"I heard it loud and clear," said resident Sara Garza, who was indoors.

She said she and her kids were able to take cover.

The sirens are just part of McKinney's severe weather warning system. The city also monitors forecasts, provides information about severe weather on its Web site and offers a map that includes the locations of all sirens and tells citizens which ones are working.

The city also has the ability to interrupt television broadcasts, but Roma said he recommends all homes have an NOAA Weather Radio.

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