Tornado siren system out-of-date, rings throughout Kent County

Why warning sirens went off miles from tornado warning

KENT COUNTY, MICH. - Fewer than than 0.02 percent of the Kent County population had reason to take cover because of the tornado warning Monday, April 10, yet most people in the entire county heard sirens. 

The siren system in place in Kent County has remained the same for years and it does not appear to be changing anytime soon. The system does not allow for target activation meaning no matter how small the area -- every town in the county is going to be privy to sirens. 

More: EF-1 tornado damages Kent County barn, dissipates in Ionia County

Matt Groesser of the Kent County Sheriff Department said ideally, they would like to develop an upgraded system that only activates sirens in specific targeted areas, but the funding is simply not there at this time. 

The emergency management office for the county said a project like this could cost upward of six figures, which is money the department does not have to spend. 

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