Nicole Buckley-Valdez saw Channel 13’s report on the people of Green Mountain who banded together to try to get a tornado siren for their Marshall County town, population: 125. She wondered about her own town of Melbourne, population: 800. “It seems like nobody (in city leadership is) interested in trying to get us any kind of siren system."
Both towns sustained damage from straight-line winds last July. Several homes in Melbourne were destroyed by a tornado in 1981. Melbourne City Clerk Cookie Purdy said that the city already operates at a deficit resulting from serious sewer problems that require costly repairs. She said that a siren installer attended a city council meeting and shared a proposal, but that it would cost upwards of $30,000.
State Emergency Management officials said that grants for tornado sirens are available, but that Melbourne city leaders have not shown an interest to begin the process to ask for a grant. FEMA will not allocate any money to Melbourne, nor will it allocate funds to Green Mountain until Marshall County Emergency Management’s hazard mitigation plan is approved by FEMA.