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The Advocate and Democrat.

Sirens will sound alarm for tornadoes

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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