PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – Confusion caused by voice messaging warnings has led the city of Plano to make a change with how its outdoor warning system works.
Sunday night as a thunderstorm approached Plano, spotters, police officers and residents all reported a funnel cloud, the city said in a news released Monday.
City leaders decided to sound the sirens.
A voice message “tornado warning” accompanied the sirens.
The National Weather Service did not issue a tornado warning, but later confirmed there was a low funnel cloud over the Legacy corridor that did not touch down.
“The voice messaging can be confusing and/or difficult to hear. In many cases, our residents are going outside to hear the messages. That is the opposite of what they need to do. The wail sirens are designed to warn people who are outdoors to take shelter and seek more information,” the city said in the news release.
Plano does not have messages prerecorded to address all of the possible hazards in which sirens could be used.
“We are limited by the software used to sound the sirens by the number of messages we can prerecord,” the news release stated.
When sounded, the wail-only warnings will be three minutes long.
The siren system will be tested on the first Wednesday of the month, weather permitting. During the monthly test, the sirens will sound for one minute and announce test after the tone.