HOWLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – After a problem with tornado sirens during severe weather on Sunday, communities in Trumbull County tested their sirens Friday morning.
When the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning like they did on Sunday, tornado sirens are supposed to sound to warn residents to seek shelter.
But, that wasn’t the case in Howland, Hubbard and Warren, where some of those sirens stayed silent.
Howland Fire Chief James Pantalone says keeping and maintaining these sirens is important for the safety of every community.
“When they’re set off, it’s about [1 minute, 30 seconds] to get them all to sound throughout the county. They run for about a three-minute cycle and then we’ll reset them off in about another [1:30] cycle. So you can see, even in the amount of time for these mechanical devices to alert people, that first 1:30 is crucial. So we’ve gotta make sure they’re operating properly and alerting within a reasonable amount of time, within seconds,” he said.
Following that first set of tests, emergency officials went back and reprogrammed the system and tested the sirens a second time.
Trumbull County 911 Director Ernie Cook says the tests were successful in each community.
Safety officials are blaming radio frequencies as the cause for a number of tornado sirens that didn’t sound.
In Howland, officials did discover a problem with the tornado siren that sits directly behind fire station 30. They say it’s just an equipment issue that will be quickly fixed. The siren itself was made in the early 1990s.
The monthly testing of the tornado siren system in Trumbull County will continue as it normally does on the first Saturday of each month.