May 30, 2024 - News

Des Moines may replace its tornado warning system

Illustration of a tornado inside of a red siren.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new severe weather warning system would replace Des Moines' 22-year-old sirens under a proposal that goes before the City Council Monday.

Why it matters: The current system was not designed to be used in freezing temperatures, potentially leaving citizens vulnerable in rare events like December derechos, Sgt. Paul Parizek tells Axios.

State of play: The new $1.7 million system would be connected to the National Weather Service, allowing the city to more precisely sound alarms.

  • The city could also conduct testing at frequencies that cannot be heard by the human ear, allowing for fewer disruptions when mechanical work or inspections take place, Parizek said.

What's next: If approved, it will be installed in coming months.

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