Johnson County testing tornado sirens again after failed attempt


EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this story said the alarms would sound on March 3 at 10 a.m., based on a statement from Overland Park Fire. That has been updated to the correct time, 11 a.m.

OLATHE, Kan. — Johnson County residents should expect to hear tornado sirens today after a state-wide test yesterday failed to activate 200 alarms.

An emergency alert test across Kansas and Missouri on March 2 ended up as a major bust. Text alerts were sent to residents, telling them to take shelter immediately due to an imminent tornado threat. It was about 50 degrees and sunny.

Furthermore, none of the tornado sirens in Johnson County activated. The county said in recent years, the entire system hasn’t had a failure like this.

“We’ve worked with the vendor and identified the problem,” Johnson County Emergency Management & Communications stated on Twitter. “Fortunately, we have the opportunity to test the sirens tomorrow during our first Wednesday monthly test.”

Residents should expect sirens to sound off at 11 a.m. Officials ask that people during this time consider what they would do during a real weather emergency.

In regards to the mass text alert, the National Weather Service in Kansas City stated that newly implemented software mistakenly allowed the alert to send. Normally, the test coding keeps the alert from sending.

The NWS said the software has been fixed.

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