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June 06, 2014 06:12 PM

Hartford Sirens Never Sounded

Hartford, SD

The severe weather in Southeastern KELOLAND Thursday caused a lot of people to take cover. But not everyone got the warning.

Residents in Hartford say even though they didn't get hit by a tornado, they were surprised not to hear a siren.

"I was watching it pretty close. It was pretty ominous. You didn't know what direction, but to me, it looked like it was traveling straight toward town. Because the whole time I was watching it, you could see it dip down and go back up. And then dip back down again," Hartford resident Dean Ebbinga said.

Ebbinga was working in Hartford Thursday afternoon when the storm arrived. As he watched the storm progress, he realized something was missing: a siren.

"I actually, after everything was said and done, I called a local firefighter that I know and talked to him about it and asked if he knew why.  At that time, he didn't have an answer," Ebbinga said. 

Ebbinga thought there might be something wrong with the sirens, but that wasn't the case. Minnehaha County Emergency Manager Lynn DeYoung says the community was never in any danger, so officials never sounded the alarm.

"We've learned from other communities, across the country, that the more you activate your sirens the less people listen. And the less people take cover and the less people activate their own plans," DeYoung said.

DeYoung says it's done this way so people don't become numb to the sound of the siren. And even though you may not hear or see it, Emergency Management is keeping a close eye on the storm.

"If it's going to impact your community, the siren will be activated. But if it's moving away, like this instance, then it won't be activated. Because we don't want to cry wolf," DeYoung said. 

"I'm just glad that nobody got hurt. And I did hear about some minor tree damage west of here, but other than that as far as I know, nobody had any injuries," Ebbinga said.

DeYoung says even if the sirens do sound, they may not be heard indoors. That's why he suggests getting a weather app on your phone or a weather radio.

You can find more information about the KELOLAND Weather App here.  See uShare photos from the storm.

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