Staff photo by Jessica Cross
Tellico Plains Mayor Patrick Hawkins (left) and Mike Atkins, the economic development director
at Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative (FLEC), stand beside the three tornado sirens the town of
Tellico Plains received this week. The sirens were donated by the Tennessee Valley Authority
(TVA). The year-long joint process between TVA, FLEC and the Monroe County municipalities
began last March after a tornado ravaged Tellico Plains. Each municipality in Monroe County will
receive three sirens as part of the project.
|Published: 9:27 AM, 02/11/2013
Author: Jessica Cross
Source: The Monroe County Advocate
TELLICO PLAINS-Nearly a year after a
devastating EF-2 tornado made its way through Tellico Plains, three
tornado sirens came into the town's possession this week.
Shortly after the tornado ravaged its
way through the town, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommended the town look into getting an alert system, as many
residents said they were simply unaware a tornado was approaching the
town until it hit.
"If having sirens saves one life, it
will be worth it," said Mayor Patrick Hawkins.
Hawkins approached Mike Atkins, the
economic development director at Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative (FLEC) about the possibility of obtaining sirens from the Tennessee
Valley Authority (TVA) to be used as tornado sirens.
"My contact at TVA informed me at
that time that they were in the process of replacing their nuclear
sirens, beginning in Alabama and would notify me when they moved to
Watts Bar," said Atkins, who acted as a liaison between Tellico
Plains and the TVA.
The year-long joint project between TVA
and Monroe County will allow for each municipality in Monroe County
to receive three donated sirens from the TVA, for a total of 12
sirens in county. In the event that Monroe County is donated more
than 12 sirens, Atkins has discussed with each mayor that
Madisonville and Vonore would benefit from one additional siren each.
The sirens, valued at $5,000 each, are
the town's financial responsibility said Atkins.
"Each town will be responsible for
transportation of the sirens, getting new poles, removing and
installing the new poles and the 'brain,' which will need to be
installed to make them functional for when a warning is issued from
the National Weather Service," said Atkins.
See full story in the Sunday, Feb. 10, edition of The Advocate & Democrat.
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