2 of 3 sirens won’t sound

Two of the three sirens used to warn residents about a possible tornado are not working, so people need to pay closer attention to weather reports, Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst said Thursday.

“Hopefully they’ll be up and running this weekend, but we’re not sure,” he said.

The problem was discovered earlier this week after the city was instructed by the Columbiana County Emergency Management Agency to sound the sirens due to a tornado warning for the county late Tuesday afternoon.

The sirens, located at Kelley Park, Waterworth Memorial Park and Centennial Park, are activated by the police dispatcher on duty. In this case, the city learned the two sirens at Centennial and Waterworth did not sound, so they had to be activated manually. Once activated, they sounded.

Kenst said the city electrician checked the two sirens on Wednesday to see why they didn’t turn on when the dispatcher flipped the switch and learned they weren’t working at all now. The one at Kelley Park is the only one working properly.

The sirens are tested at noon every Saturday, but Kenst said the only way they know if they’re going off is if they have a police officer posted at each siren location, which is what they may need to start doing.

City Electrician Mike Bibbee and personnel from the siren manufacturer are looking at the sirens to determine what’s wrong and what parts are needed to get them working again.

Kenst suggested that residents pay closer attention to weather reports for storms and not just rely on the sirens going off since they’re not working properly.

Salem didn’t experience much storm damage Tuesday, but according to reports, a tornado was confirmed in the area of Summitville, with a downburst hitting the East Liverpool area.