Sirens still working, tested locally

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 21, 2018

Emergency warning sirens installed shortly after Hurricane Katrina are still in operation within Pearl River County.

While operation of the sirens was originally the responsibility of the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors, about two years ago the maintenance and operation of the devices was turned over to the city of Picayune, city of Poplarville and the Pearl River County School District.

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The city of Picayune still maintains the emergency warning sirens. They were spread out across different locations in the city, mostly near schools, to ensure citizens are warned in case of severe weather conditions.

Picayune Fire Chief Keith Brown said the sirens are installed at Picayune Memorial High School, Picayune Fire Station 1 on Adcox Road, a location on South Beech Street, the city water tower behind Walmart and on the grounds of Nicholson Elementary.

Brown said the sirens were strategically installed to cover schools in the District while also covering most of the city.

These sirens are tested silently at least once a month during the winter months, Brown said.

He said when there are several fluctuations in weather patterns, especially this time of the year, the sirens are live tested once every month. During silent testing the sirens spin without making noise. During live testing, the siren is activated so the sound can be heard.

“We only set the siren off incase of impending danger, such as tornados,” Brown said.

Brown suggests city residents stay abreast of prevailing weather through a preferred weather application. Taking precautions such as keeping up to date with the weather can help residents protect themselves and their family, he said.

Poplarville Fire Department Chief Jonathan Head said the city of Poplarville has warning sirens installed at the high school campus and the city’s water tower behind the post office.

Two sirens have also been installed on the Pearl River Community College campus and are operated independently by the college, Head said. 

The fire department is authorized to ask the college to set off the sirens when deemed necessary, Head said.

Pearl River Central High School manages the warning siren installed at the Carrier Volunteer Fire Department, said Pearl River County Management Director Danny Manley.

The siren installed at the fire department covers the school and fire station, Manley said.