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Sirens’ wail is mute in Brookhaven — Warning system didn’t work during statewide test

The tornado sirens in Brookhaven are silent.

Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Clifford Galey flipped the switch Wednesday morning to test the system that operates the five sirens strategically placed throughout Brookhaven.

Nothing happened. He tried again.

Silence.

“The sirens did not go off. I don’t know why,” he said.

Galey tested the warning sirens as part of the statewide tornado drill for Weather Awareness Week.

He’s working now to see why the sirens didn’t wail.

The sirens were installed within the city limits in September 2013 at a cost of $79,000, or $15,800 per siren — 95 percent of which was covered by a FEMA grant. The city put in about $4,000.

Brookhaven officials first applied for the FEMA money through the Mississippi EMA in May of 2008. The electronic weather alert system was purchased from the lowest bidder, Precision Communications. The sirens are located at the corner of Monticello and North Jackson Street (behind the Lincoln County Public Library), at the corner of Field Lark Lane and Industrial Park Road, at the end of East Washington Street, at 906 Hwy. 51 (near Hwy. 84) and at the corner of Fender Trail and Manufacturers Boulevard. All sirens run on electricity and have a battery backup in the event of a power outage.

The sirens are tested at noon on the first Saturday of each month, unless the weather is bad, Galey said.

The rural areas of the county did not qualify for FEMA mitigation funds.