News 12 at 11 o'clock / Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012
WAGENER, S.C. -- The town of Wagener is sounding off to save lives.
In February, a tornado touched down there, destroying two homes.
Mayor Mike Miller says it caught the town by surprise because the storm likely took out modes of communication like weather radios and the county's code red system.
"You can never depend of those if a cell tower gets hit or what gets hit before us," Miller said.
Now, he's not leaving anything to chance. With his fingers in his ear, he heard Wagener's new weather siren for the first time.
"We started on it yesterday, and the siren went up this morning," said Ed Wise, owner of Sirens for Cities.
Miller is glad, too. He says he wants to avoid any situation where people might not know of a storm.
"This is a reactive measure to [February's tornado]. The technology is great," he said.
The siren sounds very technologically advanced, too, but it actually runs on batteries if needed.
In the event that the city loses power, the siren will still function," Wise said. "Storms come in lines, so when your first storm is coming, you sound your siren, the storm knocks your power out, and then three hours later, you have a second storm and you wouldn't have any power. This way the city will have that."
It's also loud enough for people to hear it outside town limits.
"I talked to someone 2.2 miles away [who heard it]," Miller said.
"By us purchasing this, it's not just for our citizens but our neighbors also," said town Councilman George Smith.