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Tornado sirens didn't sound in neighboring Oklahoma towns

Posted at 6:26 PM, May 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-02 19:31:36-04

HAILEYVILLE, Okla. — Haileyville and Hartshorne are neighboring towns and on Tuesday night, neither town’s siren worked.

Two weeks before the tornado hit, Hartshorne found out their siren wasn’t working.

“We’ve had several trips, different companies working on the siren. Lots of issues, thought we had the issues fixed and was able to be sounded and found out it was not fixed," Kevin Enloe, Director of Pittsburg County Emergency Management, said.

Enloe said the siren failed when they tried to manually turn it on.

The issue was fixed on Wednesday.

But the siren one town over in Haileyville hasn’t worked in years.

Newly elected Haileville mayor David Johnston said he would like two new sirens.

“It’s very old," said Johnston. “Obviously with it being a small town, I don’t have the funds available for that.”

Johnston said until then, first responders will keep an eye on the weather so they can warn residents.

“We knew we were getting a tornado, so we automatically started our sirens on the vehicles and pa system," said Haileyville Fire Chief Kevin Mick.

“They had the ambulance out there trying to let people know this is serious. Take shelter and they did what they could, knowing that they didn’t have the siren," said Syliva Jefferson, whose business was damaged in the tornado.

Since Haileyville cannot afford a new siren, Johnston and Enloe are looking at different options.

“An immediate need that they need is a storm siren. So that is identified in our Hazard Mitigation Plan which now opens them up to pursue hazard mitigation grant money to put in a new siren," said Enloe.

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