Shawnee County Siren Woes turn out to be a Radio problem

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Sep 9, 2004
Shawnee County has had problems over the last two weeks getting the Civil Defense sirens to sound. There are 72 sirens in the county- 23 of which did not sound when a Tornado Warning was issued early Friday morning. The storm that triggered the alert later went on to form a tornado that touched down near Stull in Douglas County (which interestingly never sounded their sirens during the tornado warning).

The first problem was discovered 2 weeks ago when the 911 center and EOC both could not trigger any of the sirens during the regular Monday noon test. They discovered that the primary alerting system was not taking priority over the repeater used to transmit the DTMF codes. (The repeater system is also used on a daily basis by Shawnee County Refuse crews.) A backup system did function most of the sirens.

The latest fix- they found that the primary alerting system was keying up two repeaters at the same time - causing some repeaters in the "convergence zone" to receive a garbled message. During testing yesterday they proved that the system is now working...
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