Lighting Strike Set Off Tornado Siren in Bartlesville

Thursday, May 3rd 2018, 10:43 pm
By: Amy Avery

Some Bartlesville residents got a false alarm after a lightning strike hit one of the city’s tornado sirens.

 The siren went off for about 20 minutes before they could get it turned off.  Citizens in Bartlesville like Kyle Pool said at first, they didn't know if there was really a tornado or not.

"It was loud enough that we were moving, you could hear it nonstop so I definitely got the kids going pretty quick," Pool lives about 2 houses down from the siren and says as soon as he heard it he and his wife decided to wake up their kids. "we woke up our 2 and 4-year-old and decided to go into the hallway it's a little more secluded. As soon as we get everything in there, snacks, candles everything the siren shuts off."

Many turned on their TVS and checked social media and were relieved to hear that it was a false alarm.

Washington County Emergency Management Officials say a lightning strike hit one of the sirens directly causing it to activate and sound for more than 20 minutes.

"Typically when we take a lightning strike on a siren it will completely disable the siren. This is a little bit unusual to take a strike and it actually activates the siren." Said Kary Cox director of Emergency Management for Washington County. Cox says they posted on social media and sent out alerts to ease concerns.

"We always recommend that people get multiple sources of information so when you hear sirens or when that NOAA radio goes off tune to local media and listen to the local officials."

Other people in the neighborhood say they turned on the news when they heard it and some just went back to bed.

There are more than 30 sirens spread out across the Bartlesville area, but again- Cox says you shouldn't rely on them as your only resource during a severe weather event.