Norman Residents Want Upgraded Sirens
BY Gan Matthews, NEWS 9
NORMAN, Oklahoma -- Norman is one of Oklahoma's fastest growing cities. But its emergency siren system is lagging behind that growth. City officials are hoping to change that.
When a tornado or other severe weather looms, sirens are supposed to warn the public.
"The sirens are anywhere from six to 40 years old currently, so we have a lot of them that are obsolete," Norman Fire Chief James Fullingim said.
What's more, there are only a handful of sirens in the entire eastern half of Norman around Lake Thunderbird.
So the fire department is proposing a $2 million upgrade that would increase the number of sirens to 75--and also cover the 190 square miles within Norman's city limits.
The siren upgrade would probably have to be financed through an increase in property taxes. A recent public survey showed that 83 percent of Norman residents would support the project.
"I think that with proper regulation and taxing, that it would be a good thing, yes," Norman resident Jordan Hand said.
"I'd need a little bit more information on it, but it don't sound like a bad deal," said Norman resident Don Miller. "Norman's growing, it doesn't sound too bad."
"We'd be able to activate the siren system in certain portions of town," said Fullingim. "If the weather threat is in east Norman we could activate the sirens in that portion of town without affecting the people in the more populated area here in west Norman."
East side, west side, a change may be coming all around the town.