It might seem hard to believe but just a couple of weeks after the snow melted, eastern Oklahoma might have to contend with spring-like storms. So many towns across the state are having some impromptu tests to make sure their warning sirens work.
News On 6 reporter Steve Berg was in Mannford Thursday when they tested their sirens. He reports the city of Mannford thought they had better check the sirens Thursday and it was a good thing they did.
Mannford Public Works Director Tracy Campbell says the storms in the forecast for Friday and Saturday have got the town talking. "Well, with the tornado scare and the season coming on, we had a lot of citizens call in, worried about the sirens."
Emergency sirens are not regulated in any way by the state and there are no requirements for how often they're tested or how many a town should have. That's all up to the individual cities. And Mannford knows tornadoes. At the city museum, they have several pictures of an F4 tornado, which rolled through town in 1984. Tracy Campbell says, "yes, I believe it was in '84, they had a bad one come through here. Did a lot of damage."
So Thursday, the city tested its sirens. One worked, 3 other sirens in town did not. "One of them is connected to a power source that we disconnected and didn't realize it until now and the batteries went dead. So that will be a quick, easy fix. The other two, I'm not sure," says Tracy Campbell.
But they haven't been caught off guard, which would be easy to do in February. "See we're going right from the ice storms straight through to tornado season, and let's get it fixed."
Even though the idea of civil defense sirens goes back to World War II, and even with today's TV coverage, Campbell believes the sirens still play an important role. "Y'know you've got people who are asleep, or just come home, or even people like myself who don't watch a lot of TV. You've got cases like that where you've got to have the sirens."