Princeton narrowly missed large hail last weekend and emergency services are encouraging residents to learn what the city’s take on outdoor sirens is about.
A storm with golf ball and baseball size hail was headed directly toward the city Sunday, March 24 when the cloud turned at the last moment, impacting Allen and Fairview.
“The cells that were coming through our area did in fact produce baseball size hail in areas immediately surrounding us. Prior to the storms changing paths (while it was on the cusp of our city limits) we did an initial siren activation to warn people of the impending danger. A second and longer activation would have followed if the storm continued its original path and impacted our city,” Fire Chief Tom Harvey said.
In the city, four outdoor warning sirens are located strategically across the city from East to West. These sirens are designed to warn people who are “outside” to seek shelter indoors.
The sirens are tested monthly on the first Wednesday of the month at approximately noon. The sirens are not tested on days of inclement weather.
In Princeton, sirens are typically activated for damaging winds, hail or a funnel cloud or tornado.
“The wind speed and size of hail may vary slightly, but it is typically when wind speeds are expected to exceed 70 mph, and hail is expected to be 1 ¼ inch in diameter or larger,” he said. “Other factors may play into this determination and the sirens could be activated at lower wind speeds and hail diameter.”
When residents hear the sirens, they are advised to seek shelter immediately indoors and away from windows. If shelter is not available and severe weather is in the area, lie in a low-lying area that is not prone to flooding.
Residents should not call 911 to ask why the sirens are being activated.
Citizens should check in with weather stations or media to get information regarding why sirens are being sounded.
By Wyndi Veigel • News Editor • [email protected]
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