Pittsfield city officials say the city needs more weather sirens - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Pittsfield city officials say the city needs more weather sirens

PITTSFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) - Warning people early about severe weather like tornadoes is critical to saving lives.

Weather Sirens are one of the essential tools needed to get the word out quickly and one Tri-State city is trying to buy more of them to help residents out when severe weather is headed their way.

There are two weather sirens in Pittsfield. One sits on the city's water tower and the other is by the high school.

The sounds that blast out are vital in telling residents to take cover in their homes when severe weather hits.

"In the past we've had sheer winds come through here," Second Ward Alderman Ed Knight said. "We've had victims trapped under trees and mobile homes."

In fact, a couple of weeks ago an EF-2 tornado touched down near Pittfield and destroyed several buildings.

Officials say that's a testament to why sirens like these are so important to have, but Knight says they don't have enough of them in town.

"It's for the public that is out," Knight said. "We have them in our shopping district, our business district. Those are our target areas. The supermarkets, the Wal-Marts so people are aware that a severe storm is coming."

Knight says the city budgets are tight and that has been the struggle to get more sirens installed around town.

He says the city was able to budget enough money this year to buy one more for west of town and they are applying for a USDA grant to hopefully purchase another one if it is approved.

Knight says these will give more residents notice if another tornado touches down in the area.

"That's giving us a pretty large coverage of town," Knight said. "The next one will probably be going on the east edge of town."

Knight says it's also critical for people to have weather radios in their homes because people often do not hear the sirens if they are indoors.

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