BUZZ Duluth: Why Duluth's sirens sounded in errorFire Chief John Strongitharm explains what led to Duluth's emergency system being activated yesterday.
By: Peter Passi, Duluth News Tribune
Peter Passi and Brandon Stahl cover issues related to the city of Duluth. Follow BUZZ on Twitter.
About Thursday's sirens...
Emergency sirens mistakenly sounded throughout Duluth Thursday, leaving many residents scratching their heads. Fire Chief John Strongitharm offered the following explanation to city councilors this morning:
The all hazard warning system was activated yesterday afternoon. This activation was done by St Louis County 911 at the request of the National Weather Service. St Louis County 911 accidentally sounded Duluth's sirens when attempting to activate the Meadowlands sirens, where a dangerous storm was taking place. The City of Duluth did not activate the sirens and contacted 911 to find out what was happening. 911 realized the error and discontinued the activation. 911 Dispatch has made the corrections necessary to prevent this from happening in the future.
While it is unfortunate this happened, it was encouraging to know that the all hazard warning system did function as designed and sirens were heard across the city. In the event of a real storm, this would have been a successful notification. The purpose of outdoor warning system is to send people indoors to get information from other sources. It is not designed to be heard indoors and should not be the sole source of information used once you are in a safe place.
In addition to paying attention to the all hazard siren system, citizens should have NOAA weather radios. Weather radios insure that citizens get the most current warning information while protected inside their home. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me.
John Strongitharm, Fire Chief/Emergency Manager
There you have it.