Windsor-Essex considers tornado sirens
After reports of possible tornado damage, Ontario's Essex County considers public notification sirens similar to those used across the border.
Bradley A. Smith, emergency management coordinator in Dearborn, said the tornado warning sirens that sounded in Michigan during Wednesday's storm are an important asset.
"The sirens themselves are another tool we can use to notify the public," said Smith.
Phil Berthiaume, emergency management coordinator for Essex County, said sirens notifying the public of a tornado threat would have been useful in light of Wednesday's storm.
"It could have been useful if we had one available," said Berthiaume. "Whether it was lack of threats, lack of funding, political decisions at the time, the fact remains that they were taken out of service over 30 or 40 years ago. We're left with the decision now of whether this makes imminent sense to have similar and what the costs are associated with these."
He said installing sirens in the Windsor-Essex region could cost $500,000 to $1 million per municipality.
However, Smith said their sirens have been worth the cost of installation.
"Each pole is roughly about $20,000, give or take," said Smith. "But not only do you have the one-time big expense, you have the [maintenance] cost. It's very important, it's pivotal."
Environment Canada said they will have investigators at Jellystone Park in Amherstburg, Ont., Friday to determine whether it was a tornado or strong winds that overturned a camper trailer and destroyed sheds.
Reports suggest that on at about 11 p.m. the campground may have been hit by a F1 tornado with winds of 120 to 140 kilometres an hour. No one in the community was hurt in the storm.