New alarm tested in Leachville

Thursday, August 14, 2003

The extra loud tornado siren heard across Leachville at noon on Thursday was a test. Mayor Ralph Wells, Fire Chief Jessie Johnson and Police Chief Ken Womack were all pleased with the results of the new siren system that was heard from one end of the town to the other.

Mayor Wells has been concerned about the tornado sirens not being heard by all of Leachville residents.

"I have been told that people only three blocks away could not hear the siren," Wells said.

After checking on prices for an additional siren for the city, Wells discovered that it would cost $10,000 to $15,000.

Wells, Johnson and Womack started talking of options and the idea to make a siren developed. The fire department had an alarm system that had once been used to alert the firemen.

The old alarm was taken down and reworked by Johnson. The alarm was rebuilt and installed for $1,700. The alarm was placed on the water tower. The control will be worked by either the fire chief or the police chief and will only be activated when bad weather is approaching Leachville.

"When this siren goes off, Leachville citizens need to take precautions," Womack said.

Womack said the present system is controlled by the county and the Office of Emergency Services. If there is a possibility of a tornado anywhere in the county, the siren goes off.

"When residents here this new siren, they should know that threatening weather is close and they should take cover. We would appreciate it if the citizens do not call the police to check on the weather. It ties up the lines, and if there is an emergency we need to respond to, the message is delayed getting through," Womack said.

Wells said he hopes the new siren will serve the citizens of Leachville well.

"We want everyone to be as safe as possible when and if we do have severe weather," Wells said. "Hopefully, people throughout the town will be alerted with this new siren. I am proud of Jessie and Ken for their work on this project."

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