Weather siren sounds wrong warning during storm - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Weather siren sounds wrong warning during storm

Updated:

There are dozens of weather warning sirens located across Shelby County.  However, several failed warn anybody for a time on Tuesday.

"This is only a test!"

That's all that was heard from a siren in Cordova.  An Action News Five viewer recorded video and audio in his backyard, in disbelief.

"That shouldn't happen," said Gerald Jones.

He has lived in unincorporated Cordova for seven years, fewer than 100 yards from the siren.

"Normally, in the past, it would give us a warning saying "severe weather approaching, tornado approaching," or something like that," said Jones.

The Memphis-Shelby County Emergency Management Agency activates the sirens from a control center.  That's where we went for answers.  Operations Officer Tommy Thompson admits he hit a wrong button Tuesday night.  The mistake was made after the automatic warning system malfunctioned.

"And I had to manually go through set-off all the sirens every three minutes," says Thompson.

That's when he hit the wrong button and set-off the mis-leading message.

Sirens were back to blaring out real warnings within minutes.

"People's lives are at stake, you know?" said Jones.

A real warning is the only thing Gerald Jones and others want to hear when bad weather threatens.  The EMA is now working with the siren company to lessen the chance of a system malfunction.  That will cut down on the opportunity for human error.


Click here to e-mail Jason Miles.


  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • April Mugshots

    April Mugshots

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-04-15 15:48:25 GMT
    James SiebenthalJames Siebenthal
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.More >>
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.More >>
  • 7-year-old girl writes book after mother's death

    7-year-old girl writes book after mother's death

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:31:56 GMT
    (WMC-TV) - Most 7-year-old girls are playing dress up and reading books, but one Mid-South girl is the exception—not just reading but writing books. Shiloh Sanders talked about the inspiration behind herMore >>
    Most 7-year-old girls are playing dress up and reading books, but one Mid-South girl is the exception—not just reading but writing books.More >>
  • Teen killed in crash after prom

    Teen killed in crash after prom

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:47:48 GMT
    (WMC-TV) - A young man's life was taken too soon. It was supposed to be a high school memory of a lifetime for Andrew Archer, but prom night turned into a tragic night for his family and friends. His promMore >>
    It was supposed to be a high school memory of a lifetime for Andrew Archer, but prom night turned into a tragic night for his family and friends.More >>
Powered by WorldNow