Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kenwood Warning Siren UPDATE

It has been eight days and counting since I last spoke with Scott Harrington, Legislative Assistant to Doug Hawkins (R-25) on the issue of the warning siren at Kenwood Elementary, and there has been no response to the public safety concerns expressed by the citizens. The last I heard, Harrington was going into a meeting with city emergency management over the siren. I have not been contacted by the office since last Wednesday.

Please contact Councilman Hawkins and remind him of the importance of having warning sirens in working order, and tell him it needs to be repaired. You may reach him at 502-574-1125 or by clicking HERE.

UPDATE 11/21/2008, 3:45pm: I received the following information today. Please see below.

Kenwood Outdoor Siren will be Relocated To Increase Coverage Area

The winds from Hurricane Ike in mid September knocked down the Outdoor Emergency Siren located at Kenwood Elementary School. The outdoor siren was damaged and removed.

Doug Hamilton, Director of Emergency Management, has been diligently working on replacing the old outdoor siren with a new outdoor siren that will cover a larger area.

The Kenwood outdoor siren was a 1950’s era type known as a Thunderbolt.
It did not have battery backup so if the electricity went out, the outdoor siren would be inoperable.

Jim McKinney, Emergency Management Siren Coordinator, said the new outdoor warning sirens have battery backup and have the ability to communicate with a central control office. The newer outdoor warning sirens use four 12-volt marina batteries and are activated by radio signals. “This is a far superior outdoor siren,” said McKinney. He added “…not only does it have battery back-up but it encompasses a greater coverage area.”

There are three outdoor sirens that overlap the same areas that the Kenwood outdoor siren once covered. The other outdoor sirens are located at Auburndale Elementary School, Guthermuth Elementary School, and Fairdale Fire House located on Third Street Road. Consequently, a new outdoor siren was installed at Medora Elementary School last year to cover a large area that previously had no warning sirens.

There are 120 outdoor sirens in Jefferson County which provides coverage to 97% of the population and 67% of the total metro acreage.
However, there is a avoid in outdoor siren coverage in the area just north of Iroquois Park. Emergency Management will install a new outdoor siren just south of Iroquois Park. “The Kenwood outdoor siren will be relocated just north of the existing location. The new location will not compromise existing coverage but will expand coverage to the North,” said McKinney.

Councilman Doug Hawkins has ensured that Emergency Management is working closely with Jefferson County Public Schools and the students attending Kenwood Elementary will continue to be alerted in case of an emergency.
“The public school system has approved relocating the outdoor siren and they will continue to have a full proof system to alert the school,”
said McKinney. The new location of the outdoor siren will be able to reach Iroquois Park to alert people outside to go indoors.

There are a couple of locations that are being considered for installing the new outdoor siren. Last week, Emergency Management was approved under the State’s Declaration of Emergency to receive funding for a new outdoor siren and expect to have it installed as soon as possible.

It is important to note that Outdoor Warning Sirens are designed to alert people who are outdoors to seek shelter indoors. Emergency Management says that the best way to be alerted of severe weather is by having a battery powered weather radio.

Scott W. Harrington

Legislative Assistant to

25th District Councilman Doug Hawkins

601 West Jefferson Street

Louisville, Kentucky 40202-2741

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