BELTON, Mo. — On Saturday morning, the city of Belton tested its tornado sirens for roughly an hour.
That’s because on Friday night, while sirens were going off during a tornado warning, some residents say they didn’t hear anything except the storm.
The city discovered two sirens — one at 174th and South Benton and the one at Cambridge and Mullen — do not, in fact, work. The other 15 around the city did.
William Hayes is one of those who didn’t hear the high pitched siren. He only heard the wind.
“Nothing went off last night,” he said from his workplace at J&L Diner on Saturday morning. “It’s kinda scary if you don’t hear the sirens.”
Hayes was behind the grill Saturday morning, so he didn’t hear the tests either. But if he had been at home, he still would’ve heard them. His neighborhood siren was one of the broken ones.
“They didn’t go off,” he reiterated. “My phone alerted me. Me and my son went outside and was trying to listen for the sirens — but there wasn’t no sirens.”
His co-worker Karen was across town near Kentucky Trail Elementary School. She also didn’t hear the sirens, but that’s because she was watching TV.
She learned about it via her phone; her niece called her and she got text message alerts.
“The alerts on the phone I personally think are better because sometimes you don’t hear the sirens,” she said. “I didn’t hear the sirens going off or anything, and that’s why I noticed my phone.”
That’s why it’s so important to have multiple ways to get warnings.
“I like it on my phone,” Hayes said, “because I have my phone on me all the time. But it’s good to hear the sirens in town, too.”
According to the Belton Police Department, as of 1 p.m. Saturday, 34,248 Cass County residents have signed up for alerts through the county. You can do it by clicking here.
So whether it’s by text, email, a phone call, or yes, a siren — they’ll be warned when they need to be. Of course, that’s provided everything works when its supposed to.
The city of Belton said it has already started the process to get the two broken sirens fixed. It has contacted Blue Valley Public Safety, which will be able to diagnose the problems and repair them.