Marion County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency Coordinator Donnie Brooks says a lightning strike on the 911 tower has knocked out the system to remotely sound the tornado warning sirens in Salem, Centralia and rural communities throughout the county.
Brooks says the strike occurred during heavy thunderstorms last Friday. He is currently seeking bids to repair the damage. Brooks says until repairs are made there is no way to set off the sirens remotely from the 911 office or Centralia and Salem Police Dispatch Centers. As a result, residents will need to utilize our sources such as local media or weather radios to access information on tornado warnings.
Brooks says there was other damage as well. He reports the antenna and coax will have to be replaced along with their base radio counsel. The security and fire alarm systems, as well as at least one computer, were also damaged.