Storm sirens sound for testing in Sweetwater

Storm sirens sound for testing in Sweetwater

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Sweetwater city officials are making sure their warning system is working during a tornado. Sweetwater city officials are making sure their warning system is working during a tornado.
Sweetwater actually has four storm sirens spaced throughout town. Sweetwater actually has four storm sirens spaced throughout town.
By WHITNEY GOOD
6 News Reporter

SWEETWATER (WATE) - Storm sirens echoed throughout an East Tennessee community Wednesday, despite the nice weather.

Sweetwater city officials are making sure their warning system is working during a tornado. The main focus Wednesday was a second location that works as a back-up center for the sirens to sound off.

"It went off again and we were really getting curious," said Debbie Devine who lives in Sweetwater.

It is not a common sound in Sweetwater, but early Wednesday afternoon the sirens sounded.

"Most of our population will be able to hear our sirens," said Sweetwater Mayor Doyle Lowe.

TVA donated sirens to the city a little more than a year ago, but now they are doing something new: creating the ability to set them off from the 911 center in Madisonville.

"This is just a backup system. If something goes wrong here locally or somebody can't activate it, then the 911 would be able to," said Lowe.

Sweetwater actually has four storm sirens spaced throughout town.

They were set off for the first time during an actual emergency a little more than one week ago.

"We were already downstairs in the basement, but yes it is something that we've needed. It's a good thing," said Devine.

Unlike that day, today was sunny and dry, but city officials say it is the perfect time to remind people what to do in a real emergency.

"I'd go to City Hall or I'd go in one of these buildings because they've been here for 100 years," said Cherye Elliott who lives in Sweetwater.

City officials hope it will give a little extra notice and potentially save lives

"That's what's good about sirens. When you hear a siren, you know that there's something happening," said Lowe.

The Sweetwater mayor says they will be testing the sirens every three months to make sure everything is still running smoothly.

The city also has a Code Red system that can warn you of dangerous storms.

You just register your phone number, and anytime there is a warning in the area you will receive a call either on your home phone or your cell phone.

You can contact Sweetwater City Hall for more information on signing up.

Also no matter where you live you can sign up for severe weather alerts using the free 6 News Knoxville Weather app.

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