BROOKLYN, Ohio (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has found tornado sirens in one local town haven’t been working for seven years.
They’ve been silent all that time, so we investigated why. That led us to look at other weather warning systems, too.
The I-Team found the two tornado sirens in Brooklyn not working.
Brooklyn Mayor Katie Gallagher wrote in an email, “The two sirens have not worked in more than seven years. I can’t accurately tell you when they last worked or when they were last tested. I don’t recall this ever being a conversation in the six years I was on city council either.”
Activist Rob Slattery sounded the alarm about this recently to Brooklyn town leaders raising questions about the sirens.
He told the I-Team, “They’re gambling with our lives. and I’m not going to stand back and allow them to do that. It’s their job to protect this city.”
On Tuesday, the FOX 8 weather team tracked a tornado moving into Northeast Ohio. That was just the latest in our area to touch down
Slattery added, “I can’t stand by and be quiet. God forbid something happens, I would feel horrible.”
You may not hear a siren if you’re working in an office or driving in your car, and you can get weather alerts, for example, from Cuyahoga County on your phone.
But, we checked and we found only a fraction of people countywide have signed up to get these alerts on their phones.
The Cuyahoga County Emergency Management Agency told us many towns no longer use sirens, but many still do.
Mark Christie said of the sirens, ‘They definitely still serve some function.”
In fact, we reported a few years ago that the Summit County town of Hudson added five new sirens.
Christie says the more ways to warn, the better.
He also said, “There’s no harm in having sirens, having a mass notification system and leveraging other tools such as weather.”
Slattery wants Brooklyn to do what it takes to fix the sirens after seven years.
“They’re spending money on all sorts of things,” he said.
In her statement, the mayor added, “No decision has been made on replacing the sirens yet. Some city council members would like the administration to speak to the county about this being a regional discussion and placement strategically countywide. Some city council members would also like the city to encourage more residents to sign up for ReadyNotify (phone alert system).”
Meanwhile, if you’re wondering about sirens where you live, the Ohio Emergency Management Agency tells us the leaders of each town can decide on their own whether or not to have sirens.
Ohio does not have a state law requiring sirens.