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County Discusses Weather Related Emergency Measures

Site for Siren Near VFW Hall on Memorial Drive

Site for Siren Near VFW Hall on Memorial Drive

A new outdoor warning siren will be erected opposite the former VFW hall on Memorial Drive in Lamar in the near future. This will serve residents of Quail Ridge, the Ridges which lies south of that development, residents along the southern portion of Memorial Drive and patrons of the Spreading Antlers Golf Course and Lamar Elks Lodge.

Staffon Warn, Prowers County Emergency Operations Manager, told the County Commissioners he expected to receive the siren within the next several days. “There’s an easement that will allow for the power pole to be erected at the location and a grant from the Department of Homeland Security will cover the costs of installation and power lines.  They’ll be supplied by Lamar Light and Power,” he explained.

A question was raised several weeks ago about the availability or location of any storm shelters that were owned by the county. On almost any given evening, national news reports have carried stories of communities or entire states that have been hard hit by spring and summer storms, often accompanied by tornados.  Warn told the commissioners there aren’t any places that have been built by the county to provide large-scale shelter exclusively from tornados.  “We do have temporary shelters that can serve as a place to go to for winter snowstorms such as the community building or the high school,” he explained.  Warn said the Courthouse could withstand a substantial storm, and courthouse employees have been alerted of where to go in an emergency on each of their floors, including those persons with ambulatory difficulties.  Some safer areas, especially those on each floor away from the large windows in the courthouse have been taken into consideration.

“If we had a tornado, I would expect most people would find a secure location in their homes or where they work, but I think there could be more concern about going out of doors to get to a different location in bad weather,” he stated. Some people, like motorists passing through town, might go to community area to seek shelter if a tornado touched down, he explained.  County Administrator, Jo Dorenkamp said some emergency storm procedures have been outlined for visiting groups in the summer, such as rodeo teams in town for competition. “They’d usually be directed to the high school which is just down the street from the fairgrounds,” she said, “As would players from the ballfields.”

By Russ Baldwin

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Filed Under: City of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyConsumer IssuesCountyFeaturedPublic Safety

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