Lubbock City Concil to Hear From Tornado Warning System Task Force

Tuesday night, the Lubbock City Council will hear from the Tornado Warning System Task Force about all the options the city has to warn for tornadoes, including possible tornado sirens.
By Monica Yantosh

LUBBOCK, TX -- The Lubbock City Council will hear a presentation Tuesday night from the Tornado Warning System Task Force. This task force was put together earlier in the year, by the City Council, after the devastating and deadly tornadoes in Texas and Oklahoma earlier this year.

"We determined we do have a need, we've got holes in our notification system, and we can do a better job for our citizens," Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson asid.

The task force is made up of city and county leaders, school leaders, and weather experts, and are to look at all the possibilities for warning systems in Lubbock, including the possibility of tornado sirens.  The task force said they believe a multi-layer approach is the best option, which would include sirens as well as a better mass communication network.

They also want to work with the public on education of severe weather situations, to give warnings on what to look for in severe weather so they also area prepared ahead of time.

"How many different ways can you notify somebody of a tornado? And there is no panacea, there is no perfect solution," Lubbock City Councilman Todd Klein said.

Klein has been a big advocate of tornado sirens. He said he had more than 3,000 people reach out to him, saying they would be interested in tornado sirens in Lubbock. He had hoped they could have tornado sirens in by next spring, a severe weather season, but that looks unlikely with needing more information, especially when it comes to cost of not only tornado sirens, but a mass communication system to alert people.

"Try to figure out how much can we afford, where do we get the most bang for the buck? and then the next step is going to be how do you pay for it?" Mayor Robertson said.

Councilman Klein said he just wants action, and he wants it as soon as possible. "We've gotta move very quickly, because it can't be an academic exercise in which we discuss it and then God forbid, we have a tornado while we're deploying after we've decided in visiting with the public, that's what the public wants there to be, and we just haven't moved fast enough," Klein said.

The next step will be to send out requests for proposals on sirens, as well as how much a mass alert system would cost.

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