City of Ashville storm sirens no longer functional

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April 29 2021 07:00 pm

ASHVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — The town of Ashville is notifying neighbors that weather sirens are no longer functional.

In a Facebook post-Tuesday, leaders reminded residents to have other ways to be warned during severe weather.

“It was never meant to be used for what they were using them for and that coupled with the increasing cost to fix them, plus again it is really an inefficient way to warn folks,” said Ashville Mayor Derrick Mostella.

Mostella said the sirens were originally in place as a warning system in case of a chemical spill at the nearby Anniston Army Depot.

Other nearby towns and communities have also done away with sirens recently.

The systems can be expensive to maintain and inefficient compared to alert apps like the CBS 42 Storm Team Weather App or weather radios.

“That weather radio, that will alert you, you turn on your TV, we will be with you, maybe your power goes out, you still have that radio battery back up,” said CBS 42 Storm Team Chief Meteorologist Ashley Gann.

Gann said sirens are meant to be a second line of defense. Not everyone is within earshot.

“I don’t hear them anyway so it doesn’t really affect me ever,” said Gabriel Henderson.

Sirens cannot be heard from inside some homes. Some neighbors like Reggie Turner have an alert app on a phone, but he worries about others.

“Some folks may not have phones or minutes on their phones, and then when the weather gets bad your phone starts acting up and not getting good service on your phone,” said Turner.

Leaders say you cannot ever have too many ways to be informed and warned of potential weather.

Ashville’s Mayor said the town continued to use its final siren until it no longer worked. They’re hopeful neighbors form new habits to keep safe.

“We just don’t feel comfortable enough allowing our citizens to keep relying on that,” said Mostella.

You can download the CBS 42 Storm Team Weather App for free in your app store.

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