TAYLORVILLE, Ill. (WCIA)—On a night when hundreds of people were on alert, the city of Taylorville was having trouble getting its tornado sirens to blare. The city’s computer system crashed last week. They had to buy new equipment, and the new system isn’t ready yet.
“It’s an old system. It’s approximately 15 years old, so it’s not necessarily a surprise of course…Sometimes technology it just fails,” said Mike Crews with the Christian County Emergency Management Agency. This raises concerns for people in town. “I kept calling people I know that live outside of town and some of them didn’t realize a lot of them were about to get hit,” said Lloyd Hoover. “There should be sirens because that could always happen again,” said Courtney Mann.
A tornado ripped through Taylorville last year. About 700 homes were damaged or destroyed. Many are still rebuilding. Christian County’s Emergency Management Agency Director says he’s grateful the city didn’t get hit again. “Obviously horrible timing for us but the reality is this tornado came north of town, and it was at night which is a concern for us,” said Crews.
The tornadoes hit near Edinburg and Assumption. All of it brings back some scary memories. “That’s honestly kind of sad. A lot of people could have got hurt,” said Mann. E-M-A officials say even without the sirens, they tried to warn people about what could happen. “Of course, we put that information out very early in the morning that the sirens were down and we were expecting severe weather. We hoped that people wuld follow the advice and instructions from the Facebook page,” said Crews. The director says they should have the tornado siren system back up and running by the end of the week.