Wise to sound the tornado warnings

June 10, 2013 

Warning sirens are meaningful and useful. We followed the procedure in activating the sirens throughout St. Clair County.

Your recent editorial failed to quote the entire statement from me, "Yes, a tornado path is unpredictable." We have seen time and time again, recently in Oklahoma, that several people lost their lives, The same evening in Missouri several communities were damaged.

I explained to the reporter that within just a few minutes after the first sighting, a second confirmed sighting from a police officer in Fayetteville was reported. That prompted another activation of the warning system. I explained that we activate them when we receive information from the National Weather Service or a confirmed sighting from our first responders.

The paper would like for you to believe that we should only activate them for the community in the path of it. I disagree. Too many times I have witnessed the television weather person predict a warning and it passes by. Does that mean we stop watching the weather report?

The reporter asked if I was concerned about the boy crying wolf too many times. I informed her that when it comes to life and property, maybe people need to get their head out of the sand.

I wish the paper would stop asking us to play games with people's lives and property. Being warned early has proven to be beneficial.

Herbert Simmons

Director, St. Clair County CENCOM 911 Belleville

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