City Makes Quick Repairs To Sirens For Severe Weather - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/13/07-Longview

City Makes Quick Repairs To Sirens For Severe Weather

With the possibility of oncoming severe weather Friday night, one East Texas city is having to make some quick repairs to keep you safe.   Earlier this week, we told you about five emergency warning sirens in Longview that failed to sound.   Friday, the city's interim fire chief said there are things being done to prepare for the weather.

You may hear a siren wailing Friday night as one of the season's perfect storms heads straight for East Texas. But that wasn't the case earlier this week when five of Longview's sirens failed to go off during a special test, prompting the city to think fast.

"The purpose of testing to identify problems, once we identify a problem, our deficiencies, the city of Longview is committed to correcting those problems," says Interim Fire Chief Kenny Southwell.

But now with severe weather on the horizon the city is having to think even faster. For sirens that previous tests like this one, crews are out putting in fully charged batteries, to make sure they can go off if there's severe weather Friday night.  Then workers have been individually testing the failed sirens just to be sure they sound.

"I think that's a great that they're working on it to try to get it fixed before our bad weather comes in," says one Longview resident.

"I want them to do it but they should have done something about this earlier," says another Longview resident.

Interim Fire Chief Kenny Southwell says the new batteries will get them through Friday night, but they'll also be relying on other emergency plans.

"Our emergency warning system is not solely based on those sirens, it's a multi-level, multi-agency system to warn our citizens of danger," he says.

Those include two city TV cable channels, weather-spotters, an emergency alert phone calling system. Local radio stations and of course your local TV station.

Chief Southwell says he's confident all the sirens will work if need be and he adds the batteries are a temporary solution, that they will get to the bottom of what's causing the sirens not to work.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com

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