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By Bryan Marshall

Grant County will be adding five new sirens to warn the community of impending storms or disasters.

The Turn-Key Siren Warning Systems will be located at Williamstown Cemetery, the Dry Ridge Fire Department (replacing an old siren), Grant County High School, near KAO Campground and on the west side of Interstate-75 in Crittenden.

The additional weather sirens will bring the total to 12 in Grant County.

“The one nice thing about the system we’re looking at is that it’s called a two-way siren system,” said Rick Willoby, director of Grant County Emergency Management.

“They’ll be a computer system at dispatch that, if the sirens are activated, they will know the signal went from dispatch to the siren, the siren went off and operated,

The signal comes back to dispatch. The sirens also will have battery backup so if electricity goes out in the county these sirens will still function. We’ve never had that option in the county before.”

The county’s current weather sirens also can be retrofitted with the same two-way system in the future without having to buy a new siren.

The fiscal court approved the purchase of the sirens during its Feb. 7 meeting after only one bid of $118,000 came in from Capital Electronics in Indiana.

It will take about six to eight weeks to build and get the sirens on-site.

“When they show up, they’ll come in with a tractor trailer with five sirens on poles, pre-wired, ready to go in the hole,” Willoby said.

About $106,000 had been set aside for the project through the remainder of funds from a federal FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant that recently provided all-weather radios for every household in the county.

Willoby will provide the cost difference through his emergency management budget.
Magistrate Dick Austin asked Willoby why it seemed that the southern end of the county was being left out.

“We have a siren there at Corinth at the firehouse,” Willoby said. “It works now. Sure, I’d like to build out, but we’re trying to cover our areas with the highest population first. That was one reason for the weather radios, so we could get some kind of weather warning device to every home.”

Judge-Executive Darrell Link said that those community members who still have not received an all-weather radio can contact his office.

He also reminded the public that the county has an all-call system that can notify residents of impending bad weather.

For more information, call 823-7561.

“The best thing that any of us can do is to have a plan at home as to what we might do if there are storms coming,” Link said. “Do we go to the basement? Do we have a shelter we can go to? What do we do?”