WASHINGTON COUNTY – Washington County Emergency Management officials defended their decision not to sound tornado sirens in the city of Bartlesville during Thursday's severe weather outbreak, despite the fact a tornado warning was issued for the county.
Officials said a tornado warning was issued for Washington County at 5:16 p.m. on Thursday April, 14, 2011. Emergency management officials said information from the National Weather Service indicated the storm would track south of Bartlesville.
Emergency officials said tornado sirens were sounded in Ochelata and Ramona, located south of Bartlesville, after storm chasers spotted a tornado in an area known as the "Ramona cutoff," but the sirens were never sounded in city of Bartlesville.
In a statement Friday, Washington County Emergency Management officials said "based on the information our office received from NWS and trained spotters in the field, we believed the significant tornado threat would remain to the south and east of Bartlesville."
Officials went on to stress their dedication to keeping residents informed during any severe weather event, saying "tornado sirens will be sounded at the earliest possible time when reports of imminent danger are received from any reliable source."