Unprotected areas of Marshall County getting weather sirens - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Unprotected areas of Marshall County getting weather sirens

New warning sirens are going up in the rural areas of Marshall County that are the most vulnerable, areas that previously had no outdoor warning available.

It's been staked, and painted. "S" for siren marks the spot on Word Mountain Road in Grant where a new warning system will go. It's an area currently without protection.

"We live in a high risk territory in Marshall County for tornadoes. And so it's very important we try to use as many means as possible to get the public warned when there is severe weather in the area," said Marshall County Emergency Management Agency Director Anita McBurnett.

"To have the siren, it gives me a sense of security. Tornadoes are a big concern, especially up here," said Grant resident Michelle Wade.

Michelle Wade couldn't be happier. The mother of 3 lives about an eighth of a mile from the site.

"Really excited to know that there's going to be one just right down the road so I know that we'll be safe. We'll know if there's something coming our way," said Wade.

The $27,000 siren is one of 11 awarded through a FEMA grant. 5 have been installed. The county is now in the process of finishing the last 6, which should be up and operational around Christmas.

"In a storm situation, you're not always in front of a TV so you need to have something around you to alert you," said Wade.

It's a good point according to McBurnett.

She says as high-tech as the new sirens are, blasting voice and tone, they can only do so much.

She says many don't realize their purpose.

"Outdoor warning sirens are meant to warn people out of doors. A lot of people have come to depend on their outdoor warning sirens as their only means of warning which concerns us," said McBurnett.

The Marshall County EMA is applying for another FEMA grant, hoping to add 8 more sirens.

Including the cities, there are a total of 63 sirens across Marshall County.  

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