Black Hawk County changes warning siren policy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Black Hawk County changes warning siren policy


Severe weather season is upon us and now one eastern Iowa county is changing its policy for activating its outdoor warning siren. Black Hawk County now joins Linn and Dubuque Counties activating their outdoor sirens when there is a tornado or when there is severe weather with winds reaching 70 miles per hour or more.

According to officials with Black Hawk County Emergency Management and their research on average, the sirens would be activated just one additional time per year.

In Black Hawk, officials with emergency management say it was a major storm a couple of years ago that hit Cedar Falls that made them want to change their policy. The storm caused a lot of damage around the UNI campus, but because there was no tornado there was no siren.

Officials with Black Hawk County say adding a new warning will not desensitize the public and they do not believe the sirens will be overused.

"We don't feel like it will be crying wolf at all. We will not be ringing them unless there's a warning for high winds issued by the National Weather Service so we won't have anyone guessing if the wind is 70 miles an hour or isn't it," said Black Hawk County Emergency Management Coordinator, Lorie Glover.

Outdoor warning sirens have only one purpose and that is to alert people who are outdoors that severe weather is nearby and they should go inside. Don't expect to hear these sirens inside, because they are not made for that purpose. If you want to hear warnings inside it is best to get a weather radio.

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