Tornado siren test in Licking County finds 11 not working

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Tornado sirens at the Granville Fire Department, Johnstown-Monroe High School and the Licking Township Fire Department all failed on Wednesday during a routine test.

They are among 11 sirens that failed when tested in Licking County, some of which have failed before over the past three years.

Licking County EMA Director Sean Grady says 11 is a higher number than he expected. Now, it will be up to the individual cities to fix them.

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What caused the failures ranged from bad cables to faulty siren drivers. One cause was a siren box full of water.

Fixing a bad siren driver can cost $1,500 and there are four inside each siren box.

In Licking County, when sirens go down, each city must find a contractor to fix it and they must get multiple bids, which takes time.

In the event sirens go down in Franklin County, the county has a contract that provides the contractor to be out within 24 hours of the repair call.

Each city in Franklin County pays $1,000 a year for the service. As a result, the county's EMA Director says it's able to keep up with maintenance and sirens.

Ohio is entering severe weather week March 17-23. A statewide tornado warning exercise will take place on March 20 at 9:50 a.m.

As severe weather season approaches, emergency preparedness experts say planning ahead will lower the chance of injury or death in the event that severe weather, such as a tornado.

Ensure that everyone knows the signs of a tornado, including a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud, an approaching cloud of debris, or a loud roar – similar to a freight train. Pay attention to the weather and to weather reports. Meteorologists can predict or forecast when conditions might be right for a tornado to develop.

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that comes in contact with the ground, usually descending from the base of a severe thunderstorm. Tornadoes are usually visible as funnel clouds. Related severe thunderstorms can produce heavy rains, flash flooding and hail.

Ohio’s peak tornado season is generally April through July, but tornadoes can and have occurred in every month of the year. In fact, this year, an EF1 tornado touched down in Trumbull County on Jan. 8, and an EF0 tornado touched down in Clark County. No injuries were reported from these events.

The National Weather Service confirmed that Ohio had 18 tornadoes in 2018.