Centerton Gets First Tornado Sirens

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The City of Centerton had its first outdoor alert system put into place this week.

The three sirens are 45 feet tall and have 16 speakers that sound the alarm in all directions in case of a tornado or other emergency.

The $62,000 tornado sirens were mostly paid for by a $50,000 grant given to the city.

City council member Keith Higgenbotham wanted to remind locals the alarms will only be heard in a two mile radius, and may not be heard inside.

"One of the drawbacks on the sirens is the fact that if you're in the house with the TV going, you still are going to need some sort of weather warning system," Higgenbotham said.

Mayor Bill Edwards urged community members to solve this issue by signing up for the Benton County alert system. The system can text or call a subscriber to notify them when severe weather is near.

"We have plenty of schools here and children outside playing, and weather radios are also a good concept. However, with the outdoor warning devices, if you're outside, you should be able to hear this anywhere in Centerton," said Edwards.

After the 2006 tornado ripped through Centerton, the city received a grant to buy 30,000 weather radios to distribute to the community. He said there are still around 3,000 left.

The new sirens are installed, but are not yet hooked up to power. In the meantime, if an emergency happens, backup batteries will kick in to sound the alarm, Edwards said.

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