Broken Arrow Residents Question Timing Of Tornado Sirens - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Broken Arrow Residents Question Timing Of Tornado Sirens

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People in Broken Arrow are frustrated with the city, saying it waited too long to sound the tornado sirens. People in Broken Arrow are frustrated with the city, saying it waited too long to sound the tornado sirens.
"Had it touched down here before it did, three miles down the road, then that could have caused a problem," Kirk Dubois said. "Had it touched down here before it did, three miles down the road, then that could have caused a problem," Kirk Dubois said.
Major Mark Irwin said the first sirens went off at 8:38 p.m., and the second round went off about 10 minutes later. Major Mark Irwin said the first sirens went off at 8:38 p.m., and the second round went off about 10 minutes later.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Clean up is underway for folks in Broken Arrow and Wagoner County, after a tornado ripped through the area, tearing off roofs, snapping trees and destroying buildings.

People in Broken Arrow are frustrated with the city, saying it waited too long to sound the tornado sirens.

We all know tornadoes can develop quickly, and that's exactly what happened last week. The National Weather Service issued the tornado warning at 8:38 p.m. The city says it also sounded the sirens at 8:38.

The tornado touched down outside the city at 8:40.

Kirk DuBois shot cell phone video right after the dangerous storm passed over his Broken Arrow home. During the video, you can hear the tornado sirens blasting, but DuBois said, by that time, it was too late.

"Had it touched down here before it did, three miles down the road, then that could have caused a problem," Dubois said.

4/9/2013 Related Story: Tulsa Emergency Management Says Tornado Sirens Are Last Resort

He was inside his house watching the News On 6 Warn Team when the storm was approaching.

"Somewhere in there, Travis mentioned that the weather service had called a tornado warning for Broken Arrow, and so we were surprised that we didn't hear sirens for quite some time," DuBois said.

The Broken Arrow Police Department serves as the city's emergency management team. There are 56 sirens in the city.

Major Mark Irwin said the first sirens went off at 8:38 p.m., and the second round went off about 10 minutes later.

"The biggest thing about it that people need to understand is they are outdoor warning devices. They are designed for those people that are engaged in outdoor activities, whether swimming or golfing, to know that a storm is coming," he said.

Irwin said, during sever weather, they follow a strict protocol. They will sound the sirens if the National Weather Service issues a warning, local meteorologists indicate there's a rogation, or if officers in the field see dangerous activity.

4/9/2013 Related Story: Mobile Weather Alert Apps Keep You Safe On The Go

"We treat it very seriously. We will use it when there's tornadic activity, whether it's rotation, wall clouds or an actual tornado on the ground, absolutely," Irwin said.

The majority of the damage happened in rural Wagoner County, outside of Broken Arrow city limits. The city's sirens do not extend to that area.

The county says it uses a cell phone system to notify it's residents. The City of Broken Arrow also has a cell phone alert system.

And of course, to stay informed you can always download the News On 6 weather radio app.

For a limited time, text Travis to 79640 to download the app on your Apple of Android device for free.

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