Nashville tornado sirens in need of repair weeks after storm

At this point, NOEM doesn’t know when the sirens will be fixed.
WSMV's Marissa Sulek reports.
Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 6:35 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - For weeks, tornado sirens in the city have not been working and are still in need of repair as Nashville prepares for severe weather Friday night.

“I’m a nurse, so just hearing that would be vital probably,” Sallie Brown said.

She says she took cover from an EF-4 tornado a few years ago. Tornado sirens saved her life.

“As a person who has been through that, I rely heavily on being notified about those things,” Brown said. “I have anxiety about it.”

The Nashville Office of Emergency Management says a tornado siren off Conference Drive in Goodlettsville is still not working. It’s a problem WSMV4 reported on a week ago before another storm left damage across the city.

It’s not only in Goodlettsville, but a siren in Bellevue has also been out since last month too. NOEM says the two sirens were damaged in a windstorm in February, and there’s a reason why they haven’t been repaired.

“Unfortunately, just as we deal with supply and demand as we do with everything else, this is another issue waiting on parts,” NOEM Director Chief William Swann said. “So, we don’t have an ETA when they are expected to come in. But we are always trying to stay on top of these.”

At this point, NOEM doesn’t know when the sirens will be fixed.

“That’s the question we’ve been asking and been actually forcing that issue as much as we can,” Chief Swann said. “But again, we are at the mercy of – just like many other things – we need and cannot get.”

As an alternative, Chief Swann says people should have their phones on them with a weather app. But as Brown knows, that’s not always an option for everyone.

“Sometimes your phone may not work,” Brown said. “It may not be quick enough, there may be delays.”

Chief Swann says if phones are not an option, people should reach out and check on their neighbors. NOEM advises tornado sirens don’t warn people about straight-line winds or damaging weather besides tornados.

They do check sirens across the county on a regular basis to make sure they are working.

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