With Thursday, March 20th being the first day of spring, a warning siren used to prepare people of oncoming bad weather could not have arrived at a better time. The City of Russellville recently received its Community Outdoor Warning Siren (C.O.W.S) which it purchased with a $20,000 grant awarded from the Department of Homeland Security.
City grant writer Kaye Simmons wrote a grant soon after extensive damage was caused by a sudden tornado in southern Logan County last year. The sirens, better known as C.O.W.S. is a warning system which alerts residents of impending danger, enabling them to take the necessary precautions to protect their lives and property. The city council felt it needed to look into trying to obtain a Homeland Security grant to help purchase the sirens for the safety of everyone.
“We thought we were going to be 12 weeks out on this project, but we got the siren in last week,” said Stratton, adding the city will be working with the Electric Plant Board who will be installing the pole and insulation.
“We are going to be putting the siren out at the triangle on Hwy. 431 south and Hwy. 96. Right now the Electric Plant Board is looking to make sure we have no gas or water lines in that area and then we will be good to go so this should be going pretty quick. We should have this up and going before bad weather comes.”
The mayor told his council Tuesday the city had bought the “big boy.”
“It is big and it is going to be loud,” said Stratton. “But I think in that area it’s going to help us heading south more, and in all directions like the Franklin Road.”
Stratton said when he originally looked at the sirens and got the pricing, decisions were made to step up to the big boy for a couple more thousand.
“When we go to testing this we will alert the people in that area. The test will preferable be in the afternoon in case someone works graveyard shifts,” said the mayor. “We will only be using these sirens under emergency conditions as far as tornadoes and sever thunderstorms and that type of thing.”
The City of Russellville currently has one siren, which is located on top of the police station. The siren can be heard everyday at noon with one long howl, however, if it is warning of a tornado the siren will wail out in several short intervals letting people know a tornado has been spotted and to take cover. Another siren in the Russellville area is out by Wal-Mart and is operated by the Russellville Rural Fire Department.