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The Albion Fire Department is lengthening the time the town’s tornado sirens will sound during bimonthly tests, to make it more like what people will hear in case of a real tornado warning.
The tests will still take place at about 6 p.m., on the second and fourth Mondays of every month (except winter). However, previously the sirens were turned on just long enough to make sure they work, and then shut back down. In the case of a real tornado, the sirens sound a steady wail for three minutes.
During testing, the sirens will now sound at high pitch for the full three minutes, so residents will get a feel for what they’ll hear if a tornado warning is actually issued. The town’s newer sirens have additional capabilities for alert tones in case of other emergencies, and officials are working on plans to use them for situations other than severe weather.
Two new large sirens were recently put into service after a yearlong fundraising project. Albion is currently covered by five sirens, while another is situated at nearby Skinner Lake. The sirens will be sounded in case of a tornado warning, which means a tornado or funnel cloud has been sighted by weather spotters or radar.
|Albion's two newest sirens were dedicated earlier this year. This one was placed by the town municipal building, near the east side of town. (Photo by Mark R Hunter, courtesy Albion FD)|