Chelsea adds more weather sirens

Published 3:18 pm Thursday, January 8, 2009

Soon, all Chelsea residents will be able to depend on their ears for news of bad weather.

The city is getting 13 new weather sirens and upgrading the seven that are already in place. When the process is complete, the 20 sirens will all be on the same computer system, said contractor Dwight Pierce.

“There’s a lot of new subdivisions that have developed for the Chelsea area, and they’re trying to get coverage for those new areas,” Pierce said.

The sirens will be operational in a month.

Mayor Earl Niven said each siren has a sound radius of a mile and a half, so the new sirens were placed where the sound would overlap with the next siren. All together, the 20 sirens will reach the entire city.

“It’s important to the city as another service that we can provide for our people,” Niven said.

The weather siren project, which has been in the works for about a year, cost approximately $200,000. Of the cost, 80 percent came from a federal grant and 20 percent came from the city.

Niven said that in the spring, the city plans to provide weather radios for citizens to get updates on bad weather.

“Weather sirens will provide an outdoor notice, but indoor you’ll have a radio to tell you when there’s bad weather,” he said.

The sirens will be tested on the first Wednesday of every month at 10 a.m. The sirens are controlled by the Shelby County EMA, but the city of Chelsea will also be able to control them if needed.

Chelsea citizens are enthusiastic about the project, Niven said.

“They’re very thankful that we are looking out for the public safety, and especially around the heavily populated areas, such as Chelsea Park Elementary and other subdivisions we have not been able to reach,” he said.