EMA director addresses why tornado sirens were silent in Leetonia during storm

Weather Specials

Officials are working to correct the storm system's activation issues

LEETONIA, Ohio (WKBN) – After Wednesday night’s storm passed, we started hearing complaints from residents in Leetonia who never heard their storm warning sirens.

We learned sirens like the one behind the Leetonia fire station are not owned or operated by the county’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA).

Instead, Columbiana County has a Wireless Emergency Alerts System (WENS), which is tied to the National Weather Service and sends alerts to residents through their phones. It can either call, text or email users.

“So the moment that they issue either a severe thunderstorm warning or a tornado warning, those signed-up customers are automatically notified of that alert that’s been issued. So there’s no manual intervention that has to happen,” said Peggy Clark, director of the Columbiana County EMA.

We’re told there were problems activating the siren system Wednesday night due to a loss of power to the system. Local officials are still investigating.

In the meantime, WENS is free to county residents so Clark urges neighbors to sign up for it if they haven’t already.

The system also alerts other emergency situations, like active shooters or HazMat incidents.

To sign up, CLICK HERE. You can also call 866-998-9367 or email support@wensnetwork.com for more information.

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