Failed tornado sirens in Madison County

New details on what’s becoming an old story for people in Madison County.

Posted: Mar. 21, 2018 8:45 AM
Updated: Mar. 21, 2018 8:47 AM

The Huntsville Madison County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is shaking its head once again as an upset public demands to know why tornado sirens failed Monday during severe weather.


WAAY 31 demanded answers from EMA, and we learned that the agency is still millions of dollars away from a lasting solution.

Gina Malone works near one a broken tornado siren in Madison County.

"We actually have no TV here, so we rely on the sirens," Malone said.

The emergency sirens are supposed to help save people’s lives, but they aren’t working.

EMA told WAAY 31 it was because of a maintenance issue, but this isn't the agency’s first vague explanation.

In November 2016 a siren failure left thousands of people in danger across Madison County.

EMA said that was an issue with the siren's programming.

Now, EMA is saying Monday's issue is a mechanical problem. It knocked out three sirens.

The broken sirens are at Oakwood University, Slaughter Road near Creekwood Homes , and Owens Cross Roads Schools.

All three of the sirens are under repair, and one of them is near where Malone works on Slaughter Road.

"We have a lot of employees who work outside so not being able to know in enough time to get them in and out of the weather and potentially dangerous situations is definitely kind of scary," Malone said.

WAAY 31 found out it would cost over $2 million for the county to get all new sirens.

EMA told WAAY 31 that it runs daily diagnostic tests and monthly drills.

It also does overall maintenance checks on the sirens every three years.

However, even with all of those tests, EMA still cannot give a definitive answer as to why the sirens continue to fail.

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