EAST SPARTA, Ohio (WJW) — A tornado touched down in East Sparta early Wednesday, prompting some residents to question why tornado sirens were not activated to warn them about the twister.
The fire chief says there are two reasons why.
The first being that the siren, which is also used to summon volunteer firefighters to the station, is not operational between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. because of prior noise complaints from residents.
Second, the siren was hit by a bolt of lightning just before the tornado plowed through a neighborhood outside the village.
“It is probably the tallest thing in the village, it is the lightning rod for the village unfortunately, but it got struck by lightning, it took out some of our radio equipment, which needs repair right now,” said Chief Arbie Adams. “Anything that’s tall and can make a grounding contact, it’s going to get hit, and unfortunately this got hit.”
The chief says the village’s tornado sirens have become outdated and residents should rely on TV, radio, computers and smart phones for information about severe weather.