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Lake Poinsett Receives Storm Siren Grants

March 21, 2014, 5:03 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Lake Poinsett Receives Storm Siren Grants

The tornado that hit Lake Poinsett last year damaged several properties, and took one woman's life.

Lake Poinsett is one of the biggest summer recreation spots in the state. But when storms hit, there isn't much warning beyond TV and the radio.

"I grew up in Badger, and it was always nice to have the sirens. So you just knew, take shelter. Because sometimes electricity goes out and you just don't know," nearby resident Dezarae Norgaard said. 

That's why South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks has been working with Homeland Security to get grant money to install tornado sirens around the lake.

"I don't think the storm sirens would've changed anything. But any warning system that we can have on one of the biggest lakes and most heavily populated parts of the state, is all the better," Park Manager of Lake Poinsett Dan Sternhagen said. 

"There's a lot of older people too around the lake. That probably don't know what's going on usually," Norgaard said. 

GF&P initially applied for four sirens to cover the entire lake.

While the department was only granted two, staff here isn't giving up until they feel everyone is covered.

"Obviously the project is not complete. We had a goal of four storm sirens, which we're going to continue to look at and look for money with Hamlin County, and ourselves as Game, Fish and Parks. Along with the Lake Poinsett Development Association," Sternhagen said. 

With the hope that someday, every guest and resident of the lake will be given adequate warning when storms strike.

The Game, Fish and Parks Department hopes to have the first two sirens installed by late June.

Other state recreational sites will also be receiving new outdoor warning systems--including West Bend Recreation Area and Newton Hills State Park.

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