(KMOV)-- In the wake of destructive and deadly storms, St. Louis County installed 60 high-tech warning sirens throughout the area.
"The unusually damaging storms that we have experienced throughout the region have prompted safety officials to advance the date that these sirens were expected to come online," said Tim Fischesser, executive director of the St. Louis County Municipal League. "We were only able to do this because of the confidence St. Louis County voters had in upgrading our warning system by passing a 1/10-cent sales tax increase in 2009 and the diligent work of the St. Louis County Emergency Communication Commission."
Installation began Friday, but the project is weeks away from completion. The county activated the new sirens in some areas that never before had siren coverage. Currently 188 sirens are in place with the old system.
The new sirens sport an updated look and should be more effective. Rather than rotating sirens that could often malfunction, the new digital speakers resemble beehives and can sound in all directions. Eventually they will be able to share voice messages, as well.
Officials with the Emergency Communication Commission hope to have the project completed by the end of summer.