Tallassee to Install Seven New Emergency Sirens

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By Ashley Thompson

FEMA declared parts of Tallapoosa and Elmore Counties federal disaster areas after tornados ravaged Alabama in 2011.

Now, the city of tallassee is trying to better prepare for future severe weather...by installing additional emergency sirens.

Tallassee city limits include parts of both Tallapoosa and Elmore County but there are currently only two working sirens for the entire city.

Reba Langford works at Linda's in Talisi, a women's clothing boutique. She says when severe weather is underway she never hears emergency sirens and is eager for the city to install more.

"We'd be thrilled to death for that," she says. "We sure would. We can't hear them across the river."

Tallassee Mayor Bobby Payne says of the city's two working sirens, one is on it's last limb.

"We know that we've got two and that's it," says Payne. "If one of those goes, then we're in big time trouble."

So the City of Tallassee is planning to put up seven more sirens, four more in Elmore county and three in Tallapoosa county - which currently has none.

"We owe this to our citizens and certainly we owe it to everyone, that we need to get our sirens fixed and ready to go and have an ample supply of them around town," Payne continues.

After the tornado outbreak of 2011, the state Emergency Management Agency offered a grant program to help cities in Alabama enhance their emergency warning systems. Tallassee Grant Manager David Rogers says they are also working to get a community safe room, a place where the public can go during sever weather.

"Each county, each municipality was given the option to choose what was best for them," says Grant. "At tallassee, we chose to apply for the seven outdoor warning sirens and the one community room. Both have been approved."

The safe room will be on the back side of the Tallassee City Hall. Under the grant program, the government will pay for 75 percent of the total cost of both the community safe room and the seven sirens. The city must come up with the other 25 percent. But people here say cost shouldn't determine safety.

"I just don't think when it comes to your safety, theres a price that can be put on it because you just need that security," Langford says.

These emergency sirens are meant to be for outdoor use only. Experts say you should NOT rely solely on sirens an as indicator of severe weather.

 

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