Tornado season in Iowa begins in April and residents of some small towns fear their communities aren’t prepared if a tornado strikes.
“When we`ve had severe storms going on there’s been no warning system that has gone off during the storm and it’s actually quite scary,” says Athena Valdez.
Instead of a tornado siren, all Melbourne hears is silence. The town’s tornado siren has never been installed.
Valdez has tried for a year to get a tornado siren in the town but the mayor says he isn’t going to do it because it’s a waste of money and notifies people too late. Valdez then took her fight to the state level.
Representative Dan Kelley introduced a bill in the Iowa House that would establish a funding program for rural communities who do not have tornado warning systems.
He says the safety of rural communities is vital to the quality of life in Iowa and all areas of the state should be protected.
“We can’t stop the tornado but we can get folks to safety,” says Rep. Kelley.
The bill did not make it out of committee in time to be debated this session.