Some Brunswick residents call for return of tornado sirens

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

BRUNSWICK, Ohio -- The tornado sirens in the City of Brunswick have been silent for years, but with Monday’s storms some residents say it’s time to have the sirens turned back on.

The outdoor warning sirens were removed from service in August 2008 due to numerous false alarms being set off by hackers.

So when the tornado hit Monday, the sirens were silent.

The city instead uses the mass notification system CodeRed. This system places calls directly to home or mobile phones.

On Monday residents were alerted via the phone that a thunderstorm warning was issued.

But Molly Koenig says she wishes the outdoor system would have been activated.

“It was very scary,” Koenig said.

Her home security cameras caught most of the storm on video.

“Oh my gosh, it really scared me when we went back to at the time because the kids just came in at 6:42 and that storm happened just minutes later,” Koenig said.

But because the storm came so fast, city officials say the outdoor warning system wouldn’t have been activated had it been working.

“Had there been tornado sirens they would not have been activated because we base that on information we get from the national weather service, all the information we received was that there was a severe thunderstorm warning  and no indication of a tornado watch or a tornado warning,” said Nick Solar, spokesman for the City of Brunswick.

Some say they would like the city to use both the outdoor warning sirens and the CodeRed notification system to warn residents of tornados.

“The Code Red system works, but the sirens I think are more effective and our surrounding communities have them, we should too,” said Jill Bauer of Brunswick.

And Rick Barber of the Brunswick Fire Department agrees.

“I personally like the redundancy of having the phone system and also the tornado system, but that’s up to the city administrators,” Barber said.

Several officials say they believe the topic of bringing back the sirens will most likely  be discussed at the next city council meeting.

Click for continuing coverage on the tornado in Brunswick.