Crawford County to begin testing warning sirens

When Crawford County warning sirens wail Wednesday morning, the Emergency Management Agency director wants to make sure everyone knows it is only a test.

“We’ll only test if there are clear sky conditions,” said Gerry Gibb, Crawford County EMA director. “But if there’s any threat of weather, we won’t.”

The county has been conducting a silent weekly test of the equipment, but will begin following the Georgia Emergency Management Agency’s recommendation to sound the sirens once a month.

If there is no threatening weather on the first Wednesday of the month, sirens will be briefly tested at about 11:30 a.m.

When there is inclement weather, the county will not reschedule the audible test since the weekly silent tests will continue.

Each siren has a radio transmitter that alerts the county that it is functioning properly, or if someone tries to illegally enter the equipment box.

Metal thieves have stripped some Bibb County sirens in the past.

“I heard about those thefts and I’m surprised someone would try to get in those boxes as hot as they are,” Gibb said.

The tornado sirens were installed shortly after Crawford County was hit by damaging twisters in 2007 and 2008.

On March 1, 2007, an EF-3 tornado demolished dozens of homes along Sandy Point Road. Nine people were hurt in that storm.

On Feb. 17, 2008, An EF-1 tornado touched down about five miles southwest of Roberta near Walkers Chapel Road and tracked northeast across U.S. 341 and lifted near Salem Church Road.

Six people were hurt along an 8.5 mile damage path.

The county was hit again during the Mother’s Day tornado three months later.

The warning sirens are designed to alert people working outside.

Crawford County’s sirens are located at Walkers Chapel Road at Ga. 128, behind Roberta City Hall, Tucker Road, Gunters Mill Road near Lower Hartley Bridge Road, Jordan Road at Twin Walk Road and in Musella near Dickey Farms.

To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.