Early Warning Siren System

A Homeland Security Grant is allowing Houston County commissioners to start work on implementing an early-warning system. Officials want to install what they call public awareness sirens throughout the county.

The sirens would probably be similar to this one that was installed recently near Ariton in Dale County. The Houston County sirens would have a range of about a mile in all directions. And they could have a variety of uses, from warning of a hazardous chemical spill in a relatively small area to countywide alerts for approaching tornadoes.

Regulations would govern the placement of the sirens.

Commission Chairman Mark Culver says they want to cover as much of the population as possible.

Farley Nuclear Plant maintains sirens in the Ashford, Columbia and Gordon areas in case of emergency. But Houston County is one of only a half-dozen Alabama counties without a publicly owned siren system.