ST. CHARLES COUNTY (KMOV.com) -- St. Charles County has a new warning device: portable sirens.
There are only two pieces of equipment like them in the country. The city of St. Charles calls their purchase ‘proactive’ and ‘progressive,’ and last Friday it also became very useful.
“The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, it was delivered Thursday,” said Dan Casey with the fire department.
Delivered Thursday from Milwaukee, the city’s new solar-powered, mobile tornado siren very quickly had a job to do.
The usual permanent siren on Boone’s Lick Road was down, leaving residents uncovered.
But only until crews could roll in the city’s latest investment.
“Oiginally we didn’t have anything to replace a siren when it went down and the notice would be hopefully you can hear the next one in the area,” said Casey.
After deadly accidents involving big crowds and severe weather—like the stage collapse at the Indiana state fair, city officials feared a similar circumstance could happen in St. Charles at any of the dozens of festivals that bring thousands of people to the riverfront throughout the year.
“We want to make sure folks know there’s a storm coming in or if there’s a storm coming in,” said Casey.
A typical stationary siren costs about half of the mobile unit’s $41,000 price tag. But the city says it’s worth it as the siren can go anywhere and act as a speaker system. The software also includes pre-recorded messages for missing children or evacuation orders.