Michell O'Hara would know if a siren goes off in her neighborhood. She lives across the street from one of them. It's something she's always relied on when it comes to severe weather. If it is not blasting during a storm, the weather doesn't concern her as much. But when an EF-1 tornado touched down in Longview, O'Hara said she didn't hear the siren go off.
"We always hear the sirens," O'Hara said. "I didn't understand that, I knew I would've heard that."
On the first Wednesday of every month, the city of Longview tests its sirens. City spokesperson Shawn Hara said the sirens were fully operating in March and April. The storm happened on Sunday, May 28. On the following Wednesday, the city said all of the sirens were working, but three of them weren't rotating. That next Wednesday, June 7, sirens were tested again. Only eight out of 20 sirens were operating.
"We knew there was some issues that happened in our communications center," Hara said. The city spokesperson said it was caused by power surges, damaging the equipment.
On June 14, siren were tested across the city. Fire Chief J.P. Steelman said there could be setting and programming issues. After two test, it appeared the sirens are back on track. They rotated and sounded.
The city of Longview said all 20 sirens were working, but there were timing issues. The siren would go off for five minutes, but rotate for three. The city said another test will be conducted on June 21.