ALARMING SILENCE: Plea For Tornado Siren

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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.