Pikeville tests new outdoor weather warning system

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Some folks in Pike County may have been startled by an unusual sound on Wednesday as officials with Emergency Management tested Pikeville's new outdoor weather warning sirens.

Pikeville's Public Safety Director Paul Maynard says he has been working for years to get an outdoor weather warning system in place and is thrilled to finally have one, "Obviously our main goal is an outdoor warning to save lives. When you're outside you don't necessarily get the warning people inside get."

There is a total of eight weather sirens throughout Pikeville, and officials say they have developed the system to specific needs based on past weather events. The sirens will go off when a tornado warning is issued for Pikeville or if there has been a tornado spotted in the area. Paul Maynard explains how they have altered the system to better serve this area, "The sirens will also sound for severe thunderstorms with winds greater than 70 mph, roofs coming off houses trees being uprooted and golf ball size hail." The sirens will also provide a warning when there is flash flooding that presents imminent property or life threatening danger. Maynard says, "Once it passes that threshold of your normal flash flooding we will activate the sirens."

One of the new sirens is located next to Pikeville High School. Officials believe this will be very helpful for both when students are in school and when athletic events are taking place on the campus. Athletic Director Kevin Garris knows the new system will be beneficial for the school, "It gives us an opportunity to get people to safety. To get our athletes and fans out of here in a reasonable time."

Officials say now that the final test is completed the system will go into effect immediately and they are thankful for this new technology that will help save lives.

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