Outdoor warning sirens soundDickinson’s outdoor warning sirens sounded Wednesday evening in response to possible severe weather. Dickinson Police Department Chief Chuck Rummel said the sirens sounded as part of a new warning procedure.
By: Ashley Martin, The Dickinson Press
DICKINSON - Dickinson’s outdoor warning sirens sounded Wednesday evening in response to possible severe weather.
Dickinson Police Department Chief Chuck Rummel said the sirens sounded as part of a new warning procedure.
“The city has recently changed the policy so that if the National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning or a severe thunderstorm warning for any of the counties and the projected path of the storm poses an eminent threat to any city in Stark County…we would sound the sirens as a warning,” Rummel said.
The sirens will not be sounded during a weather watch.
The new policy states the sirens will sound for three minutes or longer for each warning. The sirens may be sounded more than once if necessary throughout the length of the warning.
Rummel added that a severe thunderstorm warning was issued Wednesday evening by the National Weather Service.
“At that time the thunderstorm was located seven miles north of Dickinson and it was headed in a southeasterly direction, meaning Dickinson was in its path,” Rummel said. “Shortly thereafter, the national weather service stated that the storm cell had decreased in strength.”
Although the warning turned out to be a false alarm, it is a mandatory part of the new policy to keep area residents informed about severe weather.
“We don’t want to cry wolf all the time, but these things do happen,” Rummel said. “This is one of those things that does happen when we take a proactive approach to this.”
Although the policy change has been made public knowledge, Rummel said Wednesday’s sirens had individuals phoning authorities.
“People called the 911 emergency number and wanted to know what was going on, so we were flooded with calls,” Rummel said. “It doesn’t help to clog up our telephone lines with inquiries.”
Instead, individuals should keep emergency phone lines open for emergencies and look to alternative sources of information after necessary precautions have been taken.
“What we would like people to do…is first of all seek shelter and then tune into their radios or television sets for information that comes across there,” Rummel said.