Hopkins County looking to expand storm siren system

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Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 5:42 PM CST
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MADISONVILLE, Ky. (WFIE) - Leaders in Hopkins County are making plans to expand the county’s storm siren system.

Officials there say they could really use about five more sirens.

The county was equipped with 27 storm sirens the night the deadly storms hit Hopkins County in December.

EMA Director Nick Bailey says those 27 sirens work really well, but the county could use a few more.

In fact, expanding the siren system has been a project years in the making.

“Obviously, the ideal thing would be to have probably hundreds of sirens,” says Bailey, “but that’s not feasible.”

The city of Madisonville has 12 sirens, Hanson has two, and the county has 13.

“They only have an effective range of approximately a mile from the siren site,” says Bailey.

At this point, Bailey says the county is focused on reaching a handful of uncovered areas. He says that is where the five new sirens will go.

“We are actually running some studies to figure out where the best placement would be,” says Bailey, “and that’s kind of how we come up with that number.”

Bailey says this project comes with a pretty hefty price tag. That’s because the new sirens will need to be compatible with the system already in the county.

“So the system we have now,” says Bailey, “it’s not some cheap system. I mean, we’ve got a decent system, and we want to maintain that compatibility and functionality with our system, so yes, it does come at a cost.”

The cost of those sirens is upwards of $25,000 dollars each, according to Bailey.

When it comes to protecting the people of Hopkins county, however, that is priceless.

Bailey says there is no specific timeline for this project, because it depends on quite a few things, like money and supplies.

He says it will probably take months, if not a year, to complete.

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