Jason Moore, Madison County Emergency Management Agency Director, talks about the new tornado siren being added in the Adair community.
The Madison County Emergency Management Agency is preparing to install a new tornado siren which will serve a community long left out of early tornado warnings.
Adair, a small community north of Highway 412 near the western edge of Madison County, will be receiving the new siren within the coming weeks to make up for a lack of coverage from the current sirens.
“We had gotten several requests from the Adair community, and there’s about 200 homes out there in total that don’t have coverage of a tornado siren,” said Jason Moore, Madison County Emergency Management Agency director. “So after a couple of requests from two county commissioners, we put that in as a project to get one.”
Madison County currently has 47 sirens spread out throughout the county—none of which reach Adair.
The urgency of this need, especially as the state experiences tornado season, pushed the project to the forefront of the county’s FY 2021 budget.
“It was set as a capital project to get done in FY 2022, but the funding was available now, so they went ahead and decided to put that in this year’s capital budget so we can go ahead and knock that out,” said Moore.
Once the paperwork is settled, Moore says it should be an eight-week turn-around before they receive the siren.
“Unfortunately, it takes (a while),” he said. “These are hand-built per order, so it’s a six-to-eight week process from the time you order. Then as soon as we receive the siren, within two to three days it goes up.”
The exact address of the new tornado siren is not yet known, according to Moore.
“Unfortunately we do not have the spot nailed down,” he said. “It will be north of Highway 412, because we want to be able to cover as many homes as we possibly can. That’s not perfectly nailed down, but we also have eight weeks to make that decision.”
This will be the first tornado siren placed in the county since 2019, when the siren on the roof of the Jackson-Madison General Hospital was replaced.
“We had to replace an old one that was on top of the roof of the hospital,” Moore said. “It was probably one of the oldest ones in the county, and it had seen its days.”
The siren was moved from the roof of the hospital down to Conger Park, which is on the adjoining hillside, due to maintenance difficulties.
“It got to where it was a lot of trouble up there, once they built the new building in front of the old building,” he said. “You couldn’t get a crane up there (to do repairs) anymore in that section. So we replaced it and put a new one up in Conger Park, which is just on top of the hill.”
When asked if there were other areas of concern in the community, Moore conceded there could be more—but not to the degree of Adair.
“(Adair) would obviously be a main project, because of the amount of homes that are not covered, but you know I’m certain there are several spots in the county that maybe five to 10 houses are not covered,” he said. “Which we will work on in the future.”
He laughed. “At the same time, I have people in the dead middle of the city who complain they can’t hear it, and they have three sirens!”
Moore explains that a common misconception regarding sirens contributes to people’s complaints: they’re not meant to be heard indoors.
“These are outdoor warning sirens. They are meant for when you’re outside and you hear it, and tell you to get inside,” he said. “It is not meant to be heard inside your house. It’s great that some people do, and it’s unfortunate that some people can’t, but that’s not what it’s for. They were specifically built for parks and high traffic areas.”
For those who want to be warned of tornadoes while indoors—or perhaps, are in the few siren-uncovered areas in the county—Moore “one hundred percent recommends” a weather radio or weather apps on smartphones.
Madison County has had 11 confirmed tornado touchdowns since 2000, resulting in 14 deaths and 151 injuries, according to the National Weather Service.
One 2003 tornado, which did not sustain any fatalities, went through Adair.
Have a story to tell? Reach Angele Latham by email at email@example.com, by phone at 731-343-5212, or follow her on Twitter at @angele_latham.
Read or Share this story: https://www.jacksonsun.com/story/news/2021/05/27/madison-county-emergency-management-purchase-new-tornado-siren-serve-adair-community/5055082001/