The City of Corinth is working on getting a couple of tornado warning sirens repaired.

One at the corner of Shiloh Road and Henderson Road and another on Bell School Road have been out of commission in recent weeks during the peak of spring storm activity. Fire Chief Todd Welch said parts have been ordered but, like many things in the current supply chain environment, they are slow in arriving.

Some of the existing sirens are more than 20 years old now and may be more likely to start encountering mechanical issues, he said.

Welch told the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Tuesday evening that he has also requested quotes for new sirens as an option. Alcorn County Emergency Management Director Ricky Gibens said there could be some grant funding available, although it is not as easy to secure as in years past.

The board expressed some willingness to possibly just purchase new sirens.

Seven sirens provide coverage for the city limits, Welch said. They came about after a 1998 storm caused damage, and there was little or no siren coverage at the time, prompting some concerns for public safety.

The sirens are activated when a tornado warning is issued by the National Weather Service Memphis Forecast Office. Last week, the Corinth area was under only a severe thunderstorm warning when the damaging storm moved through.

For many years, the sirens have been briefly activated on Saturdays at noon when the weather is clear for testing purposes, and that practice continues. Welch said each siren has a battery backup system that is checked regularly so that the sirens can function if the power is off.

If anyone notices that a siren is not functioning, the city requests it be reported to the fire department.

The sirens are intended to alert people who are outdoors that potentially life-threatening weather is approaching – a signal that it is time to get indoors and stay alert to the situation.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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