High River flood alert system not seeing enough registration, says mayor

The mayor of High River wonders why more local residents have not signed up for the town's alert system.

Alert system will call, text or e-mail people's cellphones in the case of a natural disaster

A resident is comforted by rescuers as she clutches her dog after being retrieved from the floodwaters in High River, Alta. on June 20, 2013, after the Highwood River overflowed its banks. (Jordan Verlage/Canadian Press)

The mayor of High River wonders why more local residents have not signed up for the town's alert system.

The town south of Calgary tested its emergency sirens this week that would alert the community to a potential local disaster. It was installed following widespread devastation from flooding last year.

Mayor Craig Snodgrass says the sirens work great, but he says the alert system is even more effective because it will call, text or e-mail people's cellphones with information about any disaster.

High River Mayor Craig Snodgrass says he is puzzled by how few local residents have signed up for the alert system. (CBC)

Snodgrass says he is surprised only 3,000 people out of a population of more than 12,000 have signed on.

"After what happened last year, and you know ... this was a big criticism that everyone had that there wasn't enough warning," he said.

Snodgrass says the sirens can only do so much because they are not loud enough to be heard over other sounds, including a television playing in someone's house.

"The sirens are not going to notify you if you are in the house with your TV on. The chances of you hearing it are not very good. They're not designed to blow windows out. They're not that loud."


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