Residents Question Sirens For Hail Storm

By Melissa Newton, CBS 11 News

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Across North Texas, several cities activated their outdoor warning systems Tuesday evening when a severe hail storm moved through.  But many who heard the warning were left wondering if the sound of sirens meant a tornado was expected.

At Merryhill Private School in Arlington, students took cover.

“Because the sirens went off we erred on the side of caution and protected the children,” said Principal Michelle Bechtel.

The city of Arlington sounded the alarm citywide to alert residents of severe weather approaching.

“We had a representative from the National Weather Service indicate we had large hail and high winds potentially baring down on the north end of town,” said Arlington’s Assistant Fire Chief Jim Self, “We had a Texas Rangers game beginning, so we made the decision to be proactive and alert the public of an impending threat.”

There are 48 outdoor warning sirens throughout the city of Arlington.  The city has a list of the locations on their website.

Emergency Management officials received several calls from residents who thought the sirens were only sounded if a tornado was posing a great risk, but Self said that isn’t the case.

“In today’s world we use them for all sorts of things,” he said, “primarily weather events but they’re also utilized for acts of terrorism, a hazardous material release on a highway or railroad, or any other declared emergency.”

“No matter if it’s a real risk or not at that point, we want to take precautions,” Bechtel said.


One Comment

  1. JEROD says:

    they should call it a WEATHER WARNING SIREN not a TORNADO SIREN

  2. Gumby Rules says:

    “Emergency Management officials received several calls from residents who thought the sirens were only sounded if a tornado was posing a great risk”


    How ignorant are people? The only time I have heard a siren I was in a strip center office with a lot of gglass and the last thing I thought about was calling to see if there was a tornado. I moved everyone back away from the windows and listened to the radio to see if a toprnado was around.

    1. Anthony Madrid says:

      Considering the fact that in order to wonder why sirens were going off when there only supposed to be used during a tornado, the event has to pass with no tornado happening. That kind of implies that people called in after the sirens had stop. We’ll likely not know because the article doesn’t state when people called in, however, given the wording of it, I’d say that was the case.

  3. fs says:

    No need for warnings like that just because of hail. Hail falls from the sky. Duh. Tornadoes are a LOT more deadly than hail. No need for sirens for random storms like that.

    1. 2sister says:

      Hail might hot be as dangerous as a tornado, but it can still be dangerous. There were people hurt one year in Fort Worth by large hail. They were at some outdoor event, and received head injuries from the hail. Also hail could, I suppose, break glass and come through roofs.

  4. cmc says:

    They are called an Outdoor Warning System not tornado sirens. They are designed to be heard outdoors, although some may hear them while inside their homes/buildings. They are meant to alert you that something is going on & to tune into your local news.

  5. NiteNurse says:

    Sounding those sirens for hail is ridiculous. Now people are going to get desensitized and not pay attention when those sirens go off.

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