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Emergency Officials Warn Oklahomans Not To Rely On Sirens During Tornado Outbreaks

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The tornado in Woodward late Saturday night destroyed 89 homes and 13 businesses. The tornado in Woodward late Saturday night destroyed 89 homes and 13 businesses.
Emergency officials say sirens are not a reliable warning during tornado outbreaks. Emergency officials say sirens are not a reliable warning during tornado outbreaks.
Woodward, Oklahoma -

When a tornado swept through Woodward late Saturday night, News 9 StormTracker Marty Logan sent out a life-saving warning to many residents. The twister killed six people, but the death toll could have been worse if not for Logan. His message to get to safety was crucial for many Woodward residents because the town's 20 outdoor sirens didn't sound the alarm.

Complete coverage of the deadly tornado in Woodward

According to Woodward Emergency Manager Matt Lehenbauer, lightning struck a tower used to activate the warning system and knocked out the sirens.

"That did affect our storm sirens. Of course, they run on electricity and I think that was a big problem," Lehenbauer said.

Emergency officials say people should not rely on sirens to warn them about possible tornadoes, especially at night. The sirens are actually designed to warn people who may be outdoors; they're not meant for people who are inside their homes. Emergency officials say the most reliable warning system is a NOAA weather radio. You can also watch News 9 or monitor News9.com for severe weather warnings.

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