HUNTSVILLE, Mo – Mid-Missouri is a main hub for tornados and other serious storms but some towns are unprepared.
Before Monday, the city of Huntsville was one of these towns. They were working with an early warning storm siren that used parts from the Cold War.
Huntsville city council member Connie Kissell partnered with USDA for an $8,310 grant towards a new early warning storm siren.
“We applied for a grant approximately a year ago. Our siren that we had at that time, sometimes it would work and sometimes it wouldn’t,” Kissell said. “When it did work it sounded like a hairdryer.”
The new tornado siren reaches five or six miles further than the old one.
The total cost of the new siren was $23,751. The grant covered thirty-five percent of the cost.
“Our community’s safety comes first,” Kissell said. “We would’ve paid for it out of our own budget.”
USDA Rural Development works with rural areas like Huntsville on ordeals like storm warning sirens.
Leann Gleason, USDA specialist, worked hand-in-hand with Kissell to get Huntsville the Economic Initiative impact Grant.
Gleason said functioning storm warning systems are extremely important in areas like Huntsville.
“In the last several years we’ve been trying to really contact small areas and rural areas to make sure that their storm siren services are current and up to date.”
The Moberly Emergency Management Agency operates the siren. The Huntsville police and mayor can also set off the siren if need be.
The agency is also incorporating text alerts in to their warning system. Click here for more about tornado text alerts.