City of Marion, Ill to upgrade tornado sirens
MARION, Ill. - The city of Marion thinks the spring storm season is the perfect time to do some updating on their current tornado siren system.
The sirens sounded just last week, but city officials say they are not running as smoothly as they should be.
The city council voted unanimously to spend nearly $150,000 out of the general fund to do some upgrading.
Hopefully, the next time a storm hits the new system will be installed, bringing the sirens into the 21st Century.
"We'll have a computer system set up at our fire station and they can monitor all these sirens, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," said Marion Commissioner Anthony Rinella.
The company providing the software can monitor their function, too.
"They can tap in and look at these sirens and see what the issues are with them," said Rinella.
News of the upgrade is putting Marion citizen Claudette Clark at ease. She moved here just a few weeks ago.
"I've heard they've had quite a few tornados and ripped off roofs," said Clark.
After a close call back in Missouri, she learned first-hand how crucial an early alert system can be.
"I was driving home from work one day and the tornado sirens went off and I saw swirling wind and I was just about ready to drive into the tornado when I realized, hey, it's coming my way," said Clark.
Rinella says the upgrade is a win-win, both for the city, and for Marion residents.
"These are important things that we have to have within our city. Marion's been through two tornados. We know the importance of an early warning system," said Rinella.
It's for people like Clark, that Rinella and his fellow city officials, say $150,000 is a small price to pay.