Sirens didn’t sound and here’s why

Local News

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill (WCIA)– Three tornados ripped through Champaign County on Sunday.

All EF-ones.

People started asking why the sirens didn’t go off.

Officials told us one of the reasons is because of how fast this storm moved.

This isn’t the first time we’ve had tornados in our viewing area with no sirens.

Champaign, Urbana and Saint Joseph were hit this time around.

The sheriff says one reason sirens didn’t sound is how quickly this storm grew.

Many are picking up after storms ripped trees out of the ground and caused damage to homes.

People are asking why the warning sirens did not go off.

“There’s a fine line between being too cautious and not being cautious enough when it comes to setting off these tornado sirens,” Dustin Heuerman says.

Champaign County Sheriff Dustin Heuerman says this was a situation much different from what they’re used to and others agree with him.

“I don’t think the national weather service expected it to be as intense as it was,” Pete Mantell says.”It came in and it pretty much surprised a lot of people in its intensity.”

Pete Mantell is a storm spotter.

He says when it happened also played a big part.

“First off spot at night is extremely dangerous,” Mantell explains. “It’s at night unless it’s short of lightning lighting up the storm.”

Heuerman says there are two reasons for the sirens to go off.

The first, if the National Weather Service reports a tornado warning that effects any part of Champaign County.

Also if a trained weather spotter sees a funnel cloud. see a funnel cloud.

Sheriff Heuerman says even now he doesn’t think they would have used the sirens.

Officials say they want to use the sirens sparingly that way people take them seriously when they go off.

As a reminder, storm sirens are intended to tell people who are outside that a storm is coming.

Officials suggest listening and watching weather radios, smartphones, and your local news to get for information on when storms are coming.  

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