TVA working to restore sirens for severe weather in Lauderdale County

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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - TVA sirens near the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant are usually used in case of a TVA related emergency.

However, the Lauderdale County EMA has a partnership with TVA and will use those sirens in event of a tornado warning. With the most recent round of severe storms, they ran into some issues.

"During a recent test, there was a communication issue with the three sirens we have in the eastern part of the county," Said Tim Greer, Deputy Director of the Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency. "Currently TVA is working on that."

Greer wanted to make clear these are outdoor sirens, not weather sirens.

No word yet if they went off during the storms Monday night, but nonetheless, they have a plan B come time for an emergency.

Part of the county EMA's plan with the Browns Ferry in the emergency planning zone is backup alert routing, better known as the old fashioned alert system.

"Emergency vehicles will ride routes in those areas and alert the public to go to the radio or TV to get the weather information they need," Greer said.

Greer said that's pretty much how outdoor weather sirens work, alerting the community to turn to the correct resources.  They test those sirens twice a month, but that doesn't guarantee they will go off come time for a tornado.

"Storms come through and some of them get hit by lightening, making them nonfunctional come time for a tornado warning," Greer warned.

He said you cannot depend on sirens as the only way to stay alert. Turn to local media and weather radios to stay weather alert. Those will sound of long before sirens do.

"The sirens are outdoor warning sirens, they are not designed to wake you up in the middle of the night."

You can stay alert on the go or when the power is out by downloading any of the WHNT News 19 weather apps.

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