Archive for Wednesday, January 23, 2002

County’s outdoor warning sirens undergo $140,000 enhancement

January 23, 2002

Leavenworth County's 36 outdoor warning sirens just got more communicative.

A Grain Valley, Mo., firm now has completed installation of computer hardware that means county officials can test the warning sirens without leaving the courthouse. The new two-way communication system cost $140,000.

A total of 36 outdoor warning sirens dot the county. Five of them are at Fort Leavenworth and 10 are in the city of Leavenworth. Tonganoxie, Basehor, Linwood and Easton each have a siren. The other 17 sirens are in rural areas of the county.

"It's a major step in the upgrade of our siren system," said Chuck Magaha, director of emergency preparedness for Leavenworth County. "To completely re-do the entire system would cost in the millions of dollars and we didn't want to burden taxpayers with it."

Previously, the 29-year-old system could be activated from the courthouse. But determining whether the sirens were working was another matter.

"In the past, we've had to put someone physically under the siren to let us know if it is working properly," Magaha said.

Sometimes problems occur with sirens, such as loss of electricity that powers the sirens, or problems with motors or fuses.

Magaha said individual sirens or the entire system can be tested as often as county officials want.

"We can check them on a daily basis," Magaha said.

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