Source: Sherman Publications

Remove Images

Board OKs township’s second tornado siren

by David Fleet

April 23, 2014

Atlas Twp.- Can you hear me now?

Area residents may soon get notification of inclement weather just a little louder and clearer following the Monday night township meeting.

The board of trustees OK'd $13,000 for the purchase of an additional tornado siren. The funds, along with a grant from the Genesee County Emergency Management and Homeland Security of $7,000, will be used to buy the siren. Currently, the township has only one warning siren located on Hegel Road west of Ridge Road.

"The goal is when residents are outside they can hear the siren," said Shirley Kautman-Jones, township supervisor. "The current siren covers the village, golf course and the Goodrich schools campuses. It's all about letting people know in the event of a storm. Some have considered using a weather radio, but not everyone has access outside."

In November 2013, Jeffrey DuPilka, president of Allendale-based West Shore Services, reviewed the outdoor warning coverage area for the township. The company is the largest distributor of warning equipment in Michigan.

The report from West Shore designated eight priority locations for areas to be covered with warning sirens. The locations include Ridge Road north of Lakeshore, Jordan and Irish roads, Gale Road south of Farnsworth Road, Kipp Road east of Henderson Road, Perry Road just east of Atlas Road, Hill Road east of Walker Road, McCandlish Road just east of Vassar Road and Hegel Road just west of Henderson Road.

The 36-square miles of Groveland Township in Oakland County is covered by nine sirens. To the east in Brandon Township, 12 tornado serins plus two fire stations alert residents of pending storms. In Genesee County, Davison Township has one siren.

"Right now the recommended area for the new siren is Ridge and Green roads," she said. "The idea will be to raise the siren high enough so it can oscillate near higher populated areas. While nine (sirens) are recommended, I'd like to have at least five. They are expensive; however, they are vital to the community. You never think it could happen in our town."