A project to upgrade the City of Salina’s outdoor warning siren system is on the homestretch – and under budget according to Hannah Stambaugh, Director of Saline County Emergency Management.
“Right now we have 17 sirens in the City of Salina, we will be scaling that back to 10,” Stambaugh said.
The move comes after officials identified a need to update the warning system that dates back to the early 1980’s.
Stambaugh tells KSAL News that about $500,000 had been budgeted for the replacement project in July of last year. In November of 2016, Illinois based Federal Signal was awarded the contract to install the new sirens at a cost of just over $200,000. The new equipment can be used to sound all over Salina or just a portion of a tornado warned area.
“We will have the ability to pinpoint those sirens, which ones we want to send off,” she said.
“Technology has changed quite a bit so the newer sirens actually have the ability to carry just a tad bit further.”
Stambaugh added the new system also has two-way communication – allowing technicians to check the status of the siren at any time. Red LED lights will also be placed at the base of the siren head that will flash when the siren is activated.
The process has also led to upgrades in 3 other incorporated cities with Smolan and Gypsum installing new outdoor warning sirens while the City of Assaria is upgrading its system with two-way communication.
Crews are expected to begin replacing the old system with the new sirens in the next couple of weeks with a hope of having everything on-line, tested and ready for the spring severe weather season.
Stambaugh continues to remind residents that the new warning system is for warning people who are outdoors during an emergency. “We encourage citizens to have multiple ways of receiving information on severe weather warnings.”