Belleville’s tornado siren hasn’t worked in nearly a year, residents say


BELLEVILLE, Ill. – A Belleville woman says a tornado siren in her neighborhood hasn’t worked in nearly a year.

Michele Wedeking worries about the occurrence of unexpected thunderstorms and tornadoes and that residents who may be outdoors at the time do not receive adequate warning.

She tried to do something about it and called everyone, “I messaged St. Clair County. They referred me to the city. I called the city. They referred me to the fire department. »

The Belleville Fire Department said they are aware of the issue and have a work order on it. The ministry did not know how long it would take to fix it.

Wedeking said she even emailed the mayor, who replied that the city was working on the issue.

FOX 2’s Elliott Davis reached out to Belleville’s relatively new fire chief, JP Penet, and asked how this could have happened in the first place.

“I don’t have any reports in front of me of how long the siren has been off,” Penet said. “But what I can tell you is that as soon as I was informed on May 3, I hired the necessary contractors to go and examine it, diagnose it and we already have repairs underway. they should be done before the end of the week.

Authorities attributed the problem to a bad battery. The chef said getting the siren fixed was essential for areas like this which have a golf course nearby with lots of people outside.

“They’re not designed to be heard when you’re inside,” Penet said. “The assumption is that if you’re indoors, you’re going to be listening to your FOX 2 weather alerts or you’re going to be listening to your emergency weather alerts on your phone that you receive. So , if you’re outdoors, you may not have access to them, so these tornado sirens are a last-ditch effort to get you inside and out of harm’s way, in the event of a severe weather event.

Penet said Belleville had nine mermaids in the city. He said they found issues with this one and another that had a bad motor that kept it from turning. He said Belleville would institute a new program to prevent the sirens from staying down for so long.

“So I spoke with the mayor,” he said. “She’s agreed to implement what we call a preventative maintenance program on these tornado sirens, so we’re not going to wait for them to be broken.”

Michele Wedeking said she would still like to know why it took so long to be fixed.

“I think if I did something wrong they would be on top of me immediately. And in this case, I think almost a year without warning is too long.

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