Procedures to Change After Sirens Were Silent Before Tornado

May 12, 2019

 Emergency officials near Georgia's coast are investigating how to prevent future failures of an outdoor tornado siren system.

The Savannah Morning News reports that the sirens were silent before a tornado passed through the Wilmington Island area east of Savannah on May 4.

National Weather Service spokeswoman Maureen O'Leary says a computer system used by emergency managers was undergoing scheduled maintenance that day.

Ron Morales of the weather service's Charleston, South Carolina, office says the weather service typically emails customers when the system is offline for maintenance, but that didn't happen before the Saturday outage.

Chatham Emergency Management Agency Director Dennis Jones said his agency is changing its procedures in order to avoid a repeat of Saturday's situation.