Advertisement

Archive for Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tornado-siren decision is supported

May 6, 2008

Advertisement

Despite the National Weather Service determining late Friday that a tornado did touch down in Douglas County during a storm last week, the head of Douglas County Emergency Management said the local criteria for activating the tornado sirens were not met.

"The policy dictates we activate the sirens upon local determination of a tornado threat," Teri Smith said. "The decision was based on the best information available Friday morning, including communications with the National Weather Service."

But now the emergency management office is asking its advisory board to review the policy to determine whether it needs revision. The Local Emergency Planning Committee is made up of representatives of Douglas County's major communities, emergency responders, schools, businesses, utilities and other nongovernmental organizations such as the Salvation Army.

This review has happened before - including after the 2006 microburst - but no changes to the policy have been recommended. Smith said residents who are interested in seeing changes to the policy can work through her to make those thoughts heard to the board.

"We've accepted phone calls and e-mails that we are going to pass along to our board," Smith said. "We'll let them know the citizens are concerned."

Smith said she's receiving a number of calls and e-mails since Friday and that e-mail is the best way going forward to try to make those views heard.

Smith's e-mail is tsmith@douglas-county.com. The full Local Emergency Management Committee meets at 8 a.m. Thursday in Building 21 of the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds.

Comments

Angela Heili 6 years, 7 months ago

If all that severe weather we got, plus the tornado that touched down, wasn't enough to warrant using the sirens by our "emergency management", then get rid of the sirens all together. Dead people can't hear the sirens, and that's apparently what they are waiting for...someone to die before they get it gear.They don't need to change the darn policy, they just need to use some common sense...something that is apparently lacking in this situation. It's obvious they have no interest in being proactive. What's the harm in sounding the sirens? If the people who are bashing those who wanted the sirens, lost a loved one in the storm, they would be the first to yell or sue the city because the sirens weren't turned on.This is just ridiculous.

introversion 6 years, 7 months ago

First of all, I had no idea people were still talking about this...Secondly, I was upset at first that the sirens weren't sounded, but then it occurred to me that it would just be a whole different set of people that would be pissed to find out that there wasn't actually a tornado, had the sirens actually been sounded.

Eric Neuteboom 6 years, 7 months ago

When in doubt, take the option that can save lives: start the sirens. Better to be safe than sorry. It's an easy decision to me.

KsTwister 6 years, 7 months ago

Yes, I agree with you if a) your near electricity to plug in a weather radio,b) your not on the job somewhere with no chance for updates,c) your not out rescuing someone with car trouble or d) it's light enough to see the darn thing coming. PLEASE.

kansassportsnutgal 6 years, 7 months ago

I am with you Coach Eric! I'd much rather be safe than sorry!

aquakej 6 years, 7 months ago

I was listening to the radio the other day and heard Bob Newton say that in order for Lawrence to sound the sirens, someone has to visually confirm a tornado; that the National Weather Service issuing a tornado warning was not enough. I am outraged at this criteria, because night-time tornadoes are rarely seen. By the time one is spotted in the dark, it might be too late. If the NWS has issued a tornado warning, that's reason enough to sound the sirens. Better safe than sorry.Mr. Newton was explaining that they didn't want to desensitize people by sounding the sirens too often. I don't believe the NWS issues a tornado warning very often....once a year, maybe? I don't believe sounding the sirens once a year would desensitize people.We all know, especially after Greensburg, that night-time tornadoes are very dangerous. One shouldn't have to be visually confirmed (in the dark!) before the city of Lawrence sounds the sirens. I hope the criteria are changed, at least for night-time hours.

RibMan 6 years, 7 months ago

Of course the policy will change. The current one endangers the people who pay the bills.

KsTwister 6 years, 7 months ago

"But now the emergency management office is asking its advisory board to review the policy to determine whether it needs revision." I hope serious injury or death may be a deciding factor. Then again, maybe the sirens don't work during the storms with loss of power then perhaps it is too late to use them anyway. What I was caught in was enough to warrant the use and no I was not in a vehicle either.

Tony Kisner 6 years, 7 months ago

Rather than standing and defending the decision to not use the advanced warning sirens Teri should reconginze a mistake was made and changes are being made to mitigate.Was there a lot of down side risk to blowing the sirens when considered against the risk of not blowing them?

4chewnut 6 years, 7 months ago

I understand that the current powers that be don't want to desensitize people to the sirens. So, how often have they been sounded and how often have we had a NWS-issued tornado warning in the last few years? If there is a tornado on the ground and it is in the middle of the night, for crying out loud use the sirens.

Jake Esau 6 years, 7 months ago

While it is government's responsibility to protect its citizens, it is also the responsibility of the citizen to protect themselves. If you live in an area like Lawrence that is prone to severe weather, especially at this time of year, then be aware of the weather forecast so you know when to expect storms. Also, there's no excuse for not owning a weather radio. Whether or not sirens are sounded, as long as a warning is issued it will go off.

imastinker 6 years, 7 months ago

Well, I wasn't here that day. As a storm spotter, it can be very confusing when reports are coming in from all over the place. Many times it's dark and just hard to tell what is going on. I agree that it would be prudent to activate the sirens, but if you activated the sirens every time some reported lowering with no rotation people would just ignore the sirens when they were activated.

cmdln 6 years, 7 months ago

Don't you think it would be wise to sound the alarm when any "qualified" and "rational" individual or entity reports a tornado? Regardless of policy, I am surprised with severe storms like Katrina where early warning was not given and tragedy occurred that public officials do not error on the side of caution.From:http://www.crh.noaa.gov/crnews/display_story.php?wfo=top&storyid=14531&source=0 ---DOUGLAS COUNTY...STRAIGHT LINE WIND DAMAGE BROUGHT DOWN A LARGE CEDAR TREE NEAR A CHURCH AT THE INTERSECTION OF E 900 RD AND N 400 RD. . A DAMAGE SWATH IN NORTHWESTERN DOUGLAS COUNTY WAS FOUND TO HAVE BEEN CAUSED BY A TORNADO. THE TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN AT APPROXIMATELY 104 AM ON FRIDAY MAY 2 2008, 5 MILES WEST NORTHWEST OF CLINTON. THE TORNADO REMOVED A GARAGE AND APPROXIMATELY TWO THIRDS OF A HOUSE FROM ITS FOUNDATION UPON TOUCHDOWN. THE TORNADO CARRIED DEBRIS FROM THIS HOUSE A FEW HUNDRED YARDS AWAY. THE TORNADO DAMAGE AT THIS LOCATION HAS BEEN ASSIGNED A PRELIMINARY RATING OF EF-2. THE TORNADO CONTINUED NORTHEAST FOR TWO MINUTES AND THEN CAUSED A METAL OUTBUILDING TO COLLAPSE BEFORE LIFTING AT APPROXIMATELY 106 AM ON FRIDAY MAY 2 2008, 4 MILES NORTHWEST OF CLINTON LAKE. THE TORNADO DAMAGE AT THIS LOCATION HAS BEEN ASSIGNED A PRELIMINARY RATING OF EF-0. IN SUMMARY...THE TORNADO IN NORTHWEST DOUGLAS COUNTY HAS BEEN ASSIGNED A PRELIMINARY RATING OF EF-2 DUE TO DAMAGE THAT OCCURRED WHEN IT TOUCHED DOWN. THE TORNADO LASTED 2 MINUTES...TRAVELED ALONG A 2 MILE PATH AND WAS...AT ITS LARGEST...UP TO 100 YARDS WIDE. THE TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN AT APPROXIMATELY 104 AM...AND LIFTED AT APPROXIMATELY 106 AM.

Joel Hood 6 years, 7 months ago

" 'The decision was based on the best information available Friday morning, including communications with the National Weather Service.' But now the emergency management office is asking its advisory board to review the policy to determine whether it needs revision."Really?A. The storm hit in the middle of the night when people were sleeping. B. The NWS said there was a tornado in Douglas County. C. Power went out for 8600 people. And for most of us who sleep, that meant we were oblivious to the fact that we had no TV, no radio, no NOAA weather radio, and no Internet to see what was going on.D. It was very dark. How could any local spotter verify rotation in the middle of the night?I realize that we all should have battery-powered radios, battery-powered NOAA weather radios, flashlights (that work), and candles for emergencies such as this. But, common on, following "the policy" under these conditions was irresponsible. Do we really need any thing more than common sense here? Making excuses is just CYA. Douglas County EMS dodged a bullet Friday morning and we were all very, very lucky. Had anyone been killed, not souding the sirens would have been a national story of bad judgement.

alfie 6 years, 7 months ago

Maybe they should sound the sirens everytime it rains and that way they take no chance, give them a break people or you volunteer to do there job

ksdivakat 6 years, 7 months ago

Let me add this too and then I have to jet as it looks like rain, here is the site I use, personally I like this one as the radar is almost real time, it has about a 3 second delay on it.....www.wunderground.comThis is about as good as your gonna get wihout actually looking at NWS radar, also NOAA has about a 30 minute delay on it, so heads up and watch the skies!I know that there are alot of people watching this blog, so good luck to all! I hope you get what you want!

countrygirl 6 years, 7 months ago

The NWS reported that there was a tornado--what more do you want? Good thing no one was injured or there would be yet another law suit pending against the city.

iloveyoutoo 6 years, 7 months ago

I am sick of the "desensitize" excuse. Sirens aren't blown around here often enough to desensitize anyone. Most of the time they are blown because a tornado has been spotted in the next county or the next city...either way it's close enough that it could possibly be here soon after so I'd rather be safe than sorry. And I'm sick of this "grow up, take responsibility for yourself" BS that people are spewing as well. This is about saving lives and just the same as SOME of us rely on a weather radio or tv....others rely on sirens, or sirens may be the only thing at that given moment that could warn some people. Therefore, they should be used. All of you that preach about these weather radios would be pretty ticked if they malfunctioned for some reason. So pull your heads out of your behind and realize that this is a matter of covering all bases and could result in saving lives.And for the people that keep repeating the dumb officials by saying "We only sound them when there's confirmation of rotation".....in case you haven't noticed...the ARTICLE above clearly states that there WAS confirmation of this. Tornado warnings aren't issued for NO REASON.

BigPrune 6 years, 7 months ago

So when a tornado hits in Eudora moving east, you are saying the sirens in Lawrence and Baldwin need to be sounded? That sounds quite ridiculous. If you flipped on the news, it said there was a tornado warning in Douglas County. All of the news stations showed where the tornado was. If you wanted to seek shelter, by all means, seek shelter. Why wait for the sirens to go off? This has something to do with your own personal responsibility.

BigPrune 6 years, 7 months ago

Come on people. I DO NOT want to hear the tornado sirens if there is NOT a tornado. Just because there was something going on in Douglas County does NOT warrant Lawrence, Baldwin, Eudora etc having the sirens go off. I want the storm spotters to hold back. If they sound the alarm everytime there is a thunder storm, nobody will seek shelter when there is a real tornado rolling through town.

dirkleisure 6 years, 7 months ago

ksdivakat (Anonymous) says:monkeyspunk :.I live in your world, my friend, and YES, there were thousands of calls when the sirens sounded and there was no tornado:.----------------And there's the real reasoning.It was 1 am, people. Bob Newton and the emergency management folks did not want to take a bunch of phone calls!Especially not from a load of sissies.

cmdln 6 years, 7 months ago

ksdivakatI did not say that people in the country should not have sirens. I said they dont have them. Just because there are no sirens in the country does not mean that they should not be used where they are available. And some rural communities do have sirens.

KsTwister 6 years, 7 months ago

One good thing was there were no stockers or personnel working at Whelans Lumber when the building gave it up. No one died in a trailer park in North Lawrence. And afterwards the storm moving through the area did not drop a funnel down on east hills business park even though it had the chance. Some people just don't have access to use the public warning system for themselves therefore they TRUST others to warn them.............or not as the case may be.

iloveyoutoo 6 years, 7 months ago

blakus...read the first sentence of the article you're commenting on.

cmdln 6 years, 7 months ago

alfie:Maybe the next tornado that drops you can drive into. Then once your inside you can radio back to whoever the County Emergency Manager is at that point to sound the siren.After all we would hate to unnecessarily sound the siren.And we should hold people who are responsible for the safety of peoples lives to a higher standard. Doctors, Police, and yes Emergency Management.

ksdivakat 6 years, 7 months ago

KSA...I must have missed something, or maybe I was asleep, but just who exactly died thursday night??

Lindsey Buscher 6 years, 7 months ago

The technician working at the time has probably been the subject of a lot of the complaints. I think that he made a judgment call not to alarm people because he was following County policy and his training. It's nice to know that there is a competent person working in that position.

ksdivakat 6 years, 7 months ago

KSA...NWS does indeed issue a tornado warning if there isnt an actual tornado!If the dopler radar indicates it then they will call it, keep in mind there are some other things that can "trigger" a radar indicated tornado....a hook echo is a prime trigger, these are easily picked up by radar but are not actual tornados alot of the times. Also a "gust front" can trigger the radar to indicate a tornado, one thing is for sure, rotation is indeed most of the time indicated on radar, however, last year I chased a storm here in DG county that there was a tornado warning here, AND there were multiple spotter confirmed rotation, including myself, the sirens did not sound and there was no tornado, but how is that when there was rotation and no tornado dropped? Its because cold or cool air is fed into the system and immediately reduces the tornado risk, which was the case last year. Again, the official report as to what happened is not out yet, at least to my knowledge its not out, and Im not disagreeing with you, Im trying to give you some reasons why they may not have sounded the sirens, If it was me?? maybe I would have sounded them, I dont know, but the bottom line is there has to be guidelines and so far there are no guidelines that people are coming up with, you are the only one who has complained who has offered a sensable policy instead of just bitching about it. But watch what happens....I will bet you dinner...there will be pressure on EOC, so the next storm that blows up, they will sound the sirens and if there is no tornado, you jump on here and see how many people are bitching that they sounded the sirens and scared everyone to death when there was no reason....I would take that to the bank!

ksdivakat 6 years, 7 months ago

By the way, there is a "slight" chance of storms tonight, looks like the worst could be SE OK, but if you have a weather radio, make sure that there are batteries in it, and keep an eye on the sky! Thanks its been fun...stay safe everyone!

cmdln 6 years, 7 months ago

Ok, so maybe I am being upset with the wrong person. If there is one big red button that sounds tornado sirens for all of Douglas county, and there is not finer grain control then yes perhaps be slightly more discerning. However I don't believe that is the case. Sound the sirens in dangerous areas. And I'm sure you might feel differently if you were the one sitting at home on your couch and your garage got ripped off your house by a tornado that no siren had sounded for.

dirkleisure 6 years, 7 months ago

You sissies quit your whining.The power went out? So what. Do like I do and when the coal trains come through town every morning grab a bucket full from off the tracks, take 'em home and fry 'em up.That way, if your electricity goes out you can start belching your own coal fired goodness.Sissies.

alfie 6 years, 7 months ago

Isense you have so much common sense you should be our next president, get some batteries for the radio

ksdivakat 6 years, 7 months ago

mistygreen, in fact I do, not only do I have a degree in atmospheric science, I also have 15 yrs of "chase" experience in the field. And yes I am a paid chaser for the storm prediction center in Norman OK.I also was on the ground with the National Weather service in Kansas City to make a report and assess damage here in DG county. Would that be enough experience or do you want more??Im simply stating the obvious, everyone is screaming they want the sirens to blow...I said give the people what they want! Blow the dang sirens!!! But everyone must have the same protection if you are going to rely on the sirens then that should go for all people. Unless of course this is a blog just to fuss about what might have happened, what could have happened but what didnt happen. Thats what everyone should be thankful for, there were no serious injuries. If you want the policy changed then do something about it, but this complaining has went on for days now and not one person has offered a solution to the problem. Can you see where Id think this is just about being able to bitch???

monkeyspunk 6 years, 7 months ago

ksdivakat (Anonymous) says:"KSA:I must have missed something, or maybe I was asleep, but just who exactly died thursday night??"Ah, so you need a body count to justify a warning then right?Not only should sirens be to warn of coming danger, they should also be a harbinger of death eh ksdivakat? Won't be happy till you see limbs hanging from uh limbs huh?What a twisted world you live in...

monkeyspunk 6 years, 7 months ago

Commission Minutes Archive6/18/2007"Teri Smith, Interim Director of Emergency Management, made a presentation to the Board for the need of additional warning sirens in Douglas County.""The 2008 budget proposal includes three additional sirens at an approximate cost of $20,000 per siren.""McElhaney noted that the sirens are not fool proof, but are put in place for the public."http://www.douglas-county.com/online_services/ad/ad_commission_minutes_archive.aspx?category_id=2007&record_id=432&form_status=true

mrkuwick 6 years, 7 months ago

I think the decision whether or not to sound the sirens is a bit more difficult than you think. Sure, it seems rational to error on the side of caution and sound the sirens if the NWS issues a tornado warning even if a visible funnel has not been sighted. On the other hand, desensitization is a legitimate issue. I was on my home from Olathe last Thursday evening when the first round of storms went through. I stopped at relatives house in Olathe at about 7:00 when the tornado sirens first sounded. I decided to wait out the storm and the sirens went of 3 other times in the next 11/2 hours. The radar on TV didn't indicate rotation in the area and it was only lightly raining. When I left people where out and about and clearly not paying attention to the sirens. if the officials are not prudent in sounding the sirens there is the risk that people will not pay attention to them when there is a credible risk.

sharper 6 years, 7 months ago

I hope everyone who is complaining is taking the time to email Teri as well. I know that I have.

alfie 6 years, 7 months ago

If you people that have nothing to do but complain then you should be out there on the front line and help spot, i grew up in the county, there are no sirens out here but we have enough sense to come out of the rain and take care of ourselves, grow up, help out and quit complaining, "no one" was hurt

twaldaisy 6 years, 7 months ago

Ksdivat I was not hoping for sarcasm...I thought you would have some more provocative insight and valid opinion on what the EM had to say about possibly revising the policy. Also since there was a tornado that touched down NW of Clinton, do you still hold that no sirens should have been sounded? That did seem to be part of your criteria last week.

dirkleisure 6 years, 7 months ago

The best defense against a storm, particularly one with a bunch of wind, is to blow right back at it. With breath of fire.That is why non-sisses fuel up with E-85 on the way to work every morning. With a belly full of ethanol, all it takes is a match to show mother nature who's boss. Plus, you're getting your FDA recommended serving of veggies.Only sissies need sirens. The rest of us do quite well with our fire breathing, thank you very much.

iloveyoutoo 6 years, 7 months ago

And with all due respect domino I think that's just the point WE are trying to get at...." back in the day " there were probably a whole lot more deaths because of the fact that there weren't a lot of ways to warn people. We now have more equipment and I believe all of them should be used in such a serious situation. Whether it be a radio, tv, computer, or siren....any ONE of those could save a life, so they should ALL be used.

twaldaisy 6 years, 7 months ago

Ksdivakat good point on the people out in rural areas. I assumed they had some kind of warning system too, but probably by weather radios. Never really thought about a weather radio being in town, since there is a siren warning system. But if a tornado touch down that was down for 2 miles, was 100 ft in width at one point, but may have only lasted 10 seconds is not enough to sound sirens, then I will invest in a weather radio. Also there have been valid points about taking personal responsibility. Unfortunately I don't believe there is a winning resolution. So the old adage of pull your pants down, bend over and kiss your @ss good bye may be a good one yet.

RonBurgandy 6 years, 7 months ago

I know people that would seek shelter EVERY time they heard sirens. There is absolutely no chance that they would get "desensitized" to it. I also love people that think because you disagree with them, then you are immature and need to grow up and stop complaining. I mean, we should always just do whatever the government or any person tells us to do right? Makes perfect sense.It was the middle of the night, tornado was reported, sound the bleeping sirens, that is what they are for, to warn people. No excuses. I guess I will just always have to listen to Katie Horner to decide if I need to seek shelter.

dirkleisure 6 years, 7 months ago

Actually, by BigPrune's logic we all need to have the personal responsibility to put out our own house fires. The Fire Department should not be relied on, we must rely on our own abilities.Anyone who thinks otherwise is a sissy, and obviously doesn't do like BigPrune and I do. We each drink a keg of beer for breakfast, so we will have enough pee in storage should we be forced to douse our flame-engulfed residence.

twaldaisy 6 years, 7 months ago

Hmmmm....where's ksdivat this morning and his/her expertise on the subject?

justthefacts 6 years, 7 months ago

Reason not to sound siren #1 - If you do it too much, people stop paying attention and don't take cover when they should. Response: Not if the policy is to only sound sirens in specific situations (1) where a tornado has been actually seen by a trained weather spotter or (2) when a tornado is indicated on radar, as interpreted by the NWS and it is TOO DARK OUTSIDE to see the darn thing coming. That should cut down on too many "false" alarms. Reason not to sound siren #2 - You should not rely upon sirens to warn you.RESPONSE: Then why have them in the first place if they aren't an aid to some people?Reason not to sound siren #3 - They are only meant to warn people outside.RESPONSE: So warn them. And maybe some other people inside buildings will also hear them (like me). Like we all do on the days they are testing them.Reason not to sound siren #4 - you can't hear them when the wind is howling.RESPONSE: So why have them in the first place? Isn't the wind usually around during a tornado? How about we sound them BEFORE the storm is right upon us, making it hard to hear them?Reason not to sound siren #5 - People should use common sense, have weather or other types of radios, watch TV, or look at their computers.RESPONSE: Some people have none of the above and no way of using/getting it (especially if the power is out). So are we only going to warn those who deserve to be warned (and who may not therefore need to be warned)?

ksdivakat 6 years, 7 months ago

THE TORNADO DAMAGE AT THIS LOCATION HAS BEEN ASSIGNED A PRELIMINARY RATING OF EF-2.......Can you read?? Preliminary means not official, it means this is our guess, this is what we THINK happened. If you want to have an intelligent conversation about it, then lets talk real and not bitch to be bitching.

alfie 6 years, 7 months ago

Good comments domino, come on people, be an adult, do what he said

ksdivakat 6 years, 7 months ago

monkeyspunk... read up to my earlier posts....I think you have misjudged and misinterputed what I have said!

dirkleisure 6 years, 7 months ago

Obviously, those who complain about the sirens failing to sound are just a bunch of sisses.Why don't you sissies just quit your whining? If you weren't such sissies, you would stand up to a storm. And eat trees for breakfast so you could poop firewood.

mistygreen 6 years, 7 months ago

Hey ksdivakat, preliminary ratings or not, what makes you the expert?Do you work for the NWS? Do you have a degree in meteorology? What about a certificate from weather channel?

Mike Blur 6 years, 7 months ago

Before I start, kudos to ksdivakat for laying the online beatdown to loudmouth mistygreen. Shows ya what happens when you open your yapper one too many times.Tornado sirens are an antiquated technology; a relic from the days when people did NOT have the technology we have today. Electricity was considered a luxury back then; those with telephones were on party lines. (Anyone recall the age of party lines?) Sirens were necessary to communicate the most urgent warning to the greatest number of people possible. It is patently inexcusable for anyone in the 21st century--particularly those of you who post on this comment forum--to whine and complain about the government not doing their perceived "duty." We are given technological tools, available to each and every one of us, that our forefathers didn't have. And what--some of us want to cling to a nearly century-old technology to help us make life or death decisions?Gimme a break. I bet most all of you have color TV's, a cellphone and a CD/DVD player. You have moved beyond the technology of 75 years ago in that regard; it's time to move beyond the sometimes-reliable technology of outdoor tornado sirens. How many of you even knew who Bob Newton is before Friday? And, you're asking him to be fired now? Jeez.I was communicating with friends and acquaintances Thursday evening before the storm hit. In fact, I posted on 11:26 pm in the "Ape Room" that the storm would hit Lawrence very hard.http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?S=172#s=172&f=2488&t=2433254&p=2I needed only the general alerts broadcast that day, plus close attention to the raw data provided by the NWS to make those assessments. I took two atmo science classes at KU; enough for me to interpret weather data without having some Katie Tornadie trying to scare the bejezus out of me.Educate yourselves, people. Acknowledge you live in Kansas in the springtime, where weather can and will get nasty. Attend a storm-spotters session (even if you have no intention of storm spotting or chasing.) Read a book or web site devoted to the science of severe weather. Take responsibility for your own personal safety, and stop blaming others.(Oh, and lsense, power was not lost in Lawrence until AFTER the storm hit. People had ample opportunity to simply flip on the TV/radio to get their warnings.)

KsTwister 6 years, 7 months ago

I understand you two now, slow to act, and too inexperienced with these conditions to make a reasonable course of action. Probably related to the emergency warning committee.

BigPrune 6 years, 7 months ago

THE TORNADO WAS OUT BY STULL THEN IT WENT OUT BY PERRY - DETERMINED BY A HOOK ECHO ON RADAR. I WAS UP, I WATCHED THE NEWS.

dirkleisure 6 years, 7 months ago

jrudyhawk, you are so right.You and I should hang out, we could shoot guns and wrestle our dinner and drink stuff we made ourselves in the basement. These other folks are a bunch of sissies.

domino 6 years, 7 months ago

I think some of you are really off base with what BigPrune is getting at. He is saying to take care of yourselves - use what you can to do so - use a weather radio or whatever you need to - buy smoke/heat detectors for your homes -take responsibility for yourselves. So many complain that Big Brother is too much in our lives, then complain because it is the governments responsibility to keep us safe from the weather! We can't have it both ways! Growing up on the farm, we didn't have sirens to warn us of the weather. Dad watched the weather on one of the 3 local stations we got off the antena above our house - no cable - no weather radios - no internet - no advanced warning on our cell phones! When the weather was bad or even questionable, he sometimes sat up for hours, keeping watch on the storms/clouds so he could keep our family safe. Take responsibility for yourselves - you are blowing BigPrune's comments completely out of perportion, I think. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with the the decision to not sound the sirens. From what I read, policy was followed - period. Now, if the policy needs changed, that is an entirely different subject. You've been given a way to address that, so I hope all of you who feel strongly one way or the other take time to contact Terry Smith.

ksdivakat 6 years, 7 months ago

By the way isense...Im sorry I didnt catch where you received your weather degree from??

iloveyoutoo 6 years, 7 months ago

Did I indicate what direction it was heading? Didn't think so but thanks for putting words in my mouth. It's each individuals own choice what they choose to do when the sirens are sounded but let's at least make sure they have that choice instead of just not sounding them.I am still stating that all methods of warning citizens of a possible tornado should be utilized. Especially considering the fact that a tornado WAS spotted. Which is funny because when this argument first started, so many of you "no-siren blowing supporters" argued that this was simply a really bad storm. Also KSDivaKat preached for hours about how sirens were "designed" to warn people OUTSIDE . So, why weren't they provided the same warning as those inside with their tv's and radios?

Dale Stringer 6 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like the current policy was made by a bunch of Show-Me staters who have to see to believe. Or it is a plot to win a basketball game by forfeit.

ksdivakat 6 years, 7 months ago

twaldaisy ...I can tell you that the sirens were not sounded because by the time that storm hit the city limits it had died down alot. Its my understanding, although Ive not seen an official report, that there was a 10 second touchdown somewhere out on stull road, an EF0 is what I hear the NWS is stating, although again, I have not yet seen the official report.It seems that the majority of people wanted the sirens sounded, and so I was simply stating that if thats what the people want then thats what they should get. A change in policy, but we have to keep in mind that the policy has to cover everyone, not just the folks inside the city limits, but what about the people out in the country?? The people who live in the rual areas of douglas county are just as important as the ones inside the city limits, so if its the sirens that people are wanting in bad weather then ALL people should be privy to the same warning.This will require sirens being placed out in the country and this will cost a great deal of money, I believe the estimate I heard was around 750,000.00 per siren. So the county cant cover that cost, so the only way is to raise taxes to get it done. but if this is what everyone wants, then I say go with the majority.I aplologize to you, as my sarcasm is not directed to you at all, btu rather the issue at hand is not one that can be solved with an email or a call to EOC, and If the majority thinks that the call was bad not to sound them, then the people need to take action and make something happen.

mechman 6 years, 7 months ago

SOMEONE at courthouse FIRE the A##hole who did not sound the sirens.............wait till someone gets killed then say the sirens failed !!!!!!! please someone fire him before people are killed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ksdivakat 6 years, 7 months ago

monkeyspunk ....I live in your world, my friend, and YES, there were thousands of calls when the sirens sounded and there was no tornado....so what your saying is that its only YOUR opinion that counts on this subject???!!! The people who are saying get a grip, this is Kansas and your being mellow-dramatic....their opinions dont count?? Are you even in Douglas county??? Everyones opinion should count...............

monkeyspunk 6 years, 7 months ago

ksdivakat:First, please post where I said your opinion didn't count. I did say that no one will care if someone who wants to see dead people hanging from trees before the sirens are used, and I do think that that is probably true. Second, I do live in Douglas County, I do in fact work very VERY close to the office where Teri, Bob and Jillian work. Third, you are changing the subject, you are the one who brought up whether or not any one died Friday morning. I pose the question again, does someone have to die for the sirens to be blown in your opinion? Do things have to get so bad that people die before you use publicly funded warning devices to uh....WARN THE PUBLIC?Quit changing the subject, and answer the question.

domino 6 years, 7 months ago

Just for arguments sake, lets say they fire Bob Newton. What are the grounds for his firing? He did his job according to the policy that is currently in place. I don't know if there are any other reasons that could be added to cause his termination but if there isn't, then he would be fired for doing his job according to policy! He could then potentially file a wrongful termination suite and sue for who know how much money. Then there would be something else for people to bitch about!

Charles L Bloss Jr 6 years, 7 months ago

You people are idiots. Change your stupid policy. Other counties around were blowing their sirens. You all need to be fired and start over with someone that knows what to do and how to do it in these serious weather situations. People's lives are at stake, all based upon your decisions. Thank you, Lynn

ksdivakat 6 years, 7 months ago

ok heres an idea that should make all happy!If everyone wants the sirens blown then I say blow them! Give the people what they want!But what about the people in the country?? THere are no sirens, and what if their electricity is out??So lets raise the taxes tremendously in DG county, so that we can get sirens out there too and that way everyone is safe! In fact, they are needed MORE in the rual areas as this is where the touchdowns are usually recorded. So everyone in favor of that?? Ok great! Lets raise the taxes to make it happen people!!!!

ksdivakat 6 years, 7 months ago

twaldaisy.....100 ft in width?? not hardly, it was an EF0 on the ground for 10 sec, back up and touched again east of Perry. It was not down for 2 miles, unless you have info I havent heard and the last I heard it was 65-70 MPH winds that went through NW DG CO. And cmdln, the point Im trying to make is this, nobody is used to the sirens sounding because they dont sound them often. In fact I dont remember 1 time the sirens went off last year. Just because people are in the country and "not used" to hearing them doesnt mean that they shouldnt be afforded the same protection you are! They pay their taxes too, and in fact, they pay more most of the time since they are usually also land owners. Im telling you that this is going to be the driving issue when this policy is "reviewed" Whats good for the goose is certainly good for the gander, thats all Im saying!

ksdivakat 6 years, 7 months ago

and by the way, Bob was just the poor bloak who was on thursday night, Terri Smith is the director! I say, if ya fire Terri and Bob, who will you put in their place???

blakus 6 years, 7 months ago

Following some people's rationale we can assume that cities in Wyoming should constantly be activating tornado sirens due to the high winds the area recieves daily. How many times has a radar-indicated tornado touched down in Lawrence? I remember growing up how many times the sirens did sound... and never was there an actual tornado. Tornado sirens I feel should be reserved for actual, confirmed tornados... not 70 mph winds!

cmdln 6 years, 7 months ago

Lets see here, uncle sam keeps taking money from my pocket to pay for national services like the national weather service. So I do belive I am entitled to complain that my local governmet (who also steals money from me ) refuses to use the national weather service as a valid source for something as simple as a WARNING. Its a WARNING, if you live in the country and there are no sirens then obviously you wont be used to them sounding when there is an issue. But for the many people who do live near sirens and expect them to sound when danger is near there is no excuse for not using the siren for what it was built and purchased for. ... to WARN people of danger.

ksdivakat 6 years, 7 months ago

KSA 21....what will you do about it then?? And isense...you are the one who needs the education my friend!

Jeff Goodrick 6 years, 7 months ago

The tornado in Douglas Co was 8 miles due west of 6 th and Wakarusa drive at 200 rd and 1600 rd, west of stull and was traveling north east. If anything Lecompton should of been alarmed. We can change the rules so that the alarm is sounded with Thunderstorms with winds of 50 mph or more. The problem with the weather radios is they can only alarm the whole county, so people in baldwin would get the take cover alarm and the storm is 25 miles away.

mistygreen 6 years, 7 months ago

It is so depressing that we have to sit here and complain about Douglas county EOC. I hope they modify their policy, but it sounds like there was an outcry from the 2006 microburst and they did not budge. Really, what will it take? Are they willing to take the blame when loss of life can be prevented? I can somewhat understand the visual confirmation when it is daylight, but they really need to reconsider their policy when severe weather occurs in the overnight hours and people are sleeping. The sirens blasted in Shawnee County, and there was no tornado, or any damage from what I've heard. Guess what? I've not heard anyone complaining about getting woke up in the middle of the night for a false alarm. What Shawnee Co. residents are concerned about are the sirens that did not sound in the warning. I found this quote from, http://blogs.cjonline.com/index.php?entry=7181 interesting"We know it's a good idea to turn on a weather radio, a TV set or an AM/FM radio. But for those of us who grew up in the state, the sirens tell us when the stuff is about to hit the fan."Unless you live in Douglas Co., Ric, there you are on your own.

monkeyspunk 6 years, 7 months ago

"so far there are no guidelines that people are coming up with"NWS Tornado Warning = SirensWhen the NWS issues a warning that specifically mentions Lawrence, the sirens should be sounded, this is what people are asking. This is very reasonable. On the night in question, Lawrence was mentioned in the Tornado warning, and people in Lawrence were asked to take cover. Who the F*%K cares if people complain if the sirens are sounded and the town doesn't get wiped out! Do you really think anyone will care if someone has a problem with Lawrence NOT getting destroyed and the sirens going off? Do you think anyone values the opinion of someone who is unhappy because only one building collapsed instead of four and they still sounded the sirens?So, get off of your weatherman/witchdoctor high horse, go buy a box of "perspective" and give your pitiful defense of EOC a rest. No one is buying it.

ksguy 6 years, 7 months ago

Looks like the stuff tonight is pretty far west, but Great Bend appears to be taking it pretty hard right now.Thanks to the locals who do the storm spotting.I have the perfect storm warning device. A little Shih Tsu who nestles in next to my neck/shoulder, or jumping into my lap, at the first hint of thunder ... before I can hear it.

milehighhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

I was stunned they chose not to sound the sirens.The NWS indicated tornadoes in Douglas County, and other citizens confirmed this. Roofs were flying off buildings (Whelans), and several large trees were damaged.It's one thing if this happens at 5pm, and they choose not to sound the siren - people can judge for themselves. This storm came out of nowhere, and I shudder to think what could have happened if the tornado had struck an occupied home - this should be a lesson that it is "better safe than sorry."

mistygreen 6 years, 7 months ago

ksdivakat: Thanks for answering my question. I would think someone of your background would consider safety the ultimate factor.

ksdivakat 6 years, 7 months ago

KSA.....this is a good policy! Here is the problem, Douglas county can adopt this policy, but you do understand that ultimately it is the Emergency coordinator who makes this decision in every county. I know that Sedgwick CO does sound them more often and that is because they do receive tornados more than DG does, so that makes sense, also in OK, where tornados are almost a daily occurance (just joking) the sirens are sounded quite frequently there as well.The point Im trying to make is read up at some of the blogs, and the past blogs, first, its sound the sirens when there is a tornado warning issued for DG co...anytime. Then its sound the sirens when there is gonna be a straight line wind or microburst....when does it end? where do you draw the line? I promise you that there have been so many complaints when the sirens HAVE sounded and there was no tornado that its not even funny. This is why I believe that people are a bit "freaked out" which is totally normal the first bad storm that hits in the season. This is typical and will decrease as the season matures. Personally, I might have made the decision to sound the sirens when the tornado touched down on stull, but Im not the director of EOC so it wasnt my call. Adopting a policy is not going to solve the problem....what happens if this new policy is adopted, the next time the sirens blow and theres nothing...false alarm??? Would you like to bet how many bloggers will be on here bitching about that and half of them you will recognize their names from this blog and the others.

dirkleisure 6 years, 7 months ago

(Oh, and lsense, power was not lost in Lawrence until AFTER the storm hit. People had ample opportunity to simply flip on the TV/radio to get their warnings.)---------False. My power was out when the wind woke me up.All of this other fluff about personal responsibility is just picking on sissies. Not all of us sleep on a bearskin rug that is still attached to a live bear.Stop picking on the sissies.

monkeyspunk 6 years, 7 months ago

Mike Blur says:"Tornado sirens are an antiquated technology; a relic from the days when people did NOT have the technology we have today."If this is so why is Douglas County adding more sirens?I would quote the rest of Mike's post but it would be pointless.Every single one of the things he has spouted have been addressed by the concerned majority on this subject. If they are obsolete and useless, why are they maintained and why are more being added Mike? Apparently those that you and Ksdivakat are defending disagree with you as they are the ones maintaining and installing the sirens. While you guys are spot on that people should take it upon themselves to prepare and keep informed, it does not, in any way excuse those charged with the responsibility of notification from their duties.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.