County to test sirens this week
4:47 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

St. Louis County to test sirens (again) this week

You may hear tornado sirens in St. Louis County again this week. But it won’t be because of bad weather.

The county sounded the new sirens two weeks ago, on Labor Day, and said the new omni-directional, solar-powered system worked largely as hoped. But spokesman David Wrone said they received reports that residents couldn’t hear 14 of the sirens. That doesn’t necessarily mean the sirens aren’t working.

"There is a misconception out there that you should be able to hear these sirens anywhere, regardless of where you’re at, whether you’re in a bunker or a park," Wrone said. "If you’re in your basement, you’re not necessarily going to be able to hear these things. It’s an outdoor system."

Nonetheless, Wrone said they'll check out the sirens that were identified by residents.

“These 14 sirens generated multiple calls from residents who said they could not hear them. So, we’re going to be taking decibel readers out and testing these things just to make sure that they’re working properly," Wrone said.

The county’s new $7.5 million tornado warning system replaced the old sirens, some of which dated back to the 1960’s. Wrone says the tests this week will occur between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and will be preceded by a message that advises residents that it’s "just a test."