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Emergency sirens to be added around Cape

Monday, February 18, 2013

(Photo)
This storm warning siren is in Kiwanis Park in Cape Girardeau.
(Southeast Missourian file)
The number of emergency sirens in Cape Girardeau could more than double during the next five months.

The city now has four outdoor sirens, and intends to add at least five more. The new sirens would be placed in heavily populated areas to give advanced warning to as many people as possible, said Mark Hasheider, assistant fire chief and emergency management coordinator for Cape Girardeau.

"We want to place them in the really busy areas around the city," Hasheider said. "Places like parks, the mall or other mercantile stores where people are getting in and out of cars and could really use advance warning for emergencies."

The exact location of each siren remains undetermined. However, Hasheider said Federal Signal, the company that installed and maintains the city's current sirens, will set up "demo sirens" to determine optimal locations for the new sirens before any permanent installations, tentatively set for June.

Federal Signal also will provide and install the new sirens. Exact costs have not yet been determined, but Hasheider said the cost for each siren could fall between $18,000 and $23,000, depending on style, location and installation.

Installing emergency sirens is one of the Cape Girardeau City Council's capital improvements projects, funded by money from Isle Casino Cape Girardeau. The council initially set aside $150,000 for the sirens, a number Hasheider said has remained mostly unchanged.

"The city is doing what they can to cut down costs and make the money go as far as possible," Hasheider said. "For example, our city workers are taking care of a few early steps in the installation process that will help decrease some of the overall costs."

Hasheider said he expects to have more accurate figures for costs and completion dates within the next three months.

srinehart@semissourian.com

388-3641


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With cell phones getting emergency weather broadcasts, and weather radio accessible to the masses, what is the point of these sirens? To waste more money? Enough already! The money needs to go into the sewer treatment facility!

-- Posted by Beaker on Sun, Feb 17, 2013, at 11:06 PM

Beaker, not every one has these things, especially the elderly. If you are sleeping and don't have a weather radio and the sirens go off, it is giving people a chance to get in a safe place they are worth every penny to save a life. These storms have a habit of striking at night when people are asleep. I agree money needs to go to pay for the sewer treatment plant, but when it comes down to alerting people who have no other means then it is a necessity.

-- Posted by Sunflower Girl on Mon, Feb 18, 2013, at 1:35 AM

I will have to agree with Beaker. Most of us know, including the elderly, if severe weather is on the way days before it occurs. Most if not all have a tv or radio Sunflower. The existing sirens are adequate as I have been able to hear them in all areas within the City limits! Wastefull spending has to stop.

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Mon, Feb 18, 2013, at 6:52 AM

While I am against wasting money, the lack of sirens has been a chronic infrastructure Cape need.

After this small expense, now direct the rest of the wind-fall monies toward paying off the sewer treatment bonds, with an annual review and lowering of the sewer portion of resident bills.

-- Posted by piscary on Mon, Feb 18, 2013, at 7:18 AM

Cape should have had these sirens in place years ago back to the seventies now they are just now getting around to installing them. A lot of communities in this area have had sirens for years way before Cape ever thought of installing them, again very slow growth and progress.

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Mon, Feb 18, 2013, at 9:55 AM

A waste of money. I wonder how many people actually pay attention to the sirens? I know I don't! I have a smart phone or computer which both let me know well before any storm is coming! I also get well prepared for any storms that are forecast later that week!

-- Posted by Bman69 on Mon, Feb 18, 2013, at 4:26 PM

ya because the meteorologists at kfvs are correct 100% of the time. what a joke. because some of you have a phone or computer that will alert you due to severe weather does that automatically mean those who do not should not be alerted by the addition of more sirens? keep it real people

-- Posted by whyowhy on Mon, Feb 18, 2013, at 11:23 PM

This was tried in the 1970s and the sirens were promptly removed after going off when there was no tornado. There has not been a tornado in town for over 6 decades, and the population density is not enough to justify such an expense when we have a sewer treatment plant to pay for. I think if a few weather drama queens were this worried that some kind of tornado were going to come and pluck them out of their homes, why can't they invest in an inexpensive smart phone or weather radio capable of conveying warnings? We should not be installing these unsightly things at taxpayer expense just because a couple people here and there don't have another reliable way to hear about warnings.

-- Posted by Beaker on Tue, Feb 19, 2013, at 5:06 PM

Beaker, First, your facts are way off. Cape has 4 working sirens right now. They have been advised a need for an additional 4 sirens.

Second, there is no such thing as an "inexpensive smart phone". There are many not as fortunate and struggle to make ends meet without cell phones, internet or cable.

Third, Jackson and Caruthersville were hit by a devastating tornado in the last decade. Mother nature is unpredictable.

-- Posted by existentialist on Wed, Feb 20, 2013, at 4:21 AM


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