(KMOV) – Residents in St. Charles County are upset when the tornado sirens were late going off when storms hit the St. Louis area on Saturday.
“Things just started flying,” said a resident of St. Charles County.
She also said she started seeing hail coming down sideways when the storms started.
“I was getting ready to head downstairs to the basement, then it stopped, and I’m like okay. Then it was nice and sunny out. Then the sirens came on after it happened.”
Much of the damage occurred in the neighborhood around Dingledine and Old Highway 94 South.
The National Weather Service says it issued a tornado warning for St. Charles County at 3:42 p.m. Saturday afternoon and lasted until 4:15 p.m. A second warning was issued for northeastern St. Charles County that started at 4:17 p.m. and was in effect until 4:45 p.m. The Sheriff’s Department says the National Weather Service had assured them it would be “rain only event.”
The National Weather Service went on to say “As a result when emergency management and dispatch and alarm were notified of the tornado, it took longer to activate the sirens.” The NWS says the sirens went of at 3:53 p.m., 11 minutes after the tornado warning was issued.
Many warnings are issued on cell phones and television, but many residents still rely on sirens.
“That’s a concern,” said the resident. “If I would have heard them beforehand, I would have went down to the basement.”
In response to inquiries regarding the warning sirens, the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department issues the following statement: