City Of Oologah Upgrades Decades-Old Tornado Sirens

Wednesday, August 17th 2016, 5:32 pm
By: News On 6

The town of Oologah is getting a much-needed upgrade. Wednesday, two new tornado sirens were installed after the old ones got so old they couldn't be repaired anymore.

Oologah's mayor said the old sirens were so ancient it was even difficult to find people who could fix them.

Folks in Oologah are no strangers to the force of an Oklahoma tornado - half the town was wiped out back in 1991 by an EF-4.

"It's been 25 years and pretty sure the old sirens are older than that." Mayor and Northwest Fire chief, Mat Shockley said.

Since then, the town has had some close calls, which is why Shockley said a new warning system is important, especially for those who live further away.

"Supposedly we'll be able to hear it all the way to the dam. The overlay map shows about a mile," he said.

Shockley said, over the last few years the sirens have been unpredictable, the maintenance expensive, and parts for the decades-old system are rare.

"The old sirens were out of date,” the mayor said. “They were costing more money to upkeep, in our opinion, than to purchase new ones. We purchased two new to replace the four old, so we're doing more with less."

The two new sirens cost the city around $40,000, are the latest technology and are said to be much louder - something he says they'll test out this week.

"Friday at noon for the new sound," Shockley said.

He said the sirens can be activated by both the police and fire department.