May 30, 2013

Oskaloosa updates its storm siren policy

The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — My oh my has it been one heck of a week. It never ceases to amaze me how fast time will fly by. With work and other activities, the days just fly by for me anymore. Being cooped up inside due to the rain these past few days hasn’t helped either! The next couple of days look to be continuing the trend: heavy rain. The next best times to get outside and hit a bucket of balls looks to be Saturday and Sunday where it looks to be mostly clear with temperatures in the upper 60s to lower 70s.

Today I would like to remind residents of the NEW storm siren policy. The changes are not drastic, but residents should be aware of it. The following comes from a press release from the Oskaloosa Fire Department: “As the National Weather Service continues to update radar and change their criteria for severe storms we need to stay current with the City of Oskaloosa procedures for siren activation. This new policy allows the Mahaska County E-911 Center some flexibility in siren activation if a storm “pops up” suddenly and we do not have spotters in position, or if adequate time will not allow spotters to be placed. This policy will become effective on May 22, 2013 at 12:00 noon.

New Policy:

The Outdoor warning sirens shall be sounded for a:

A. Tornado Warning issued by the National Weather Service and/or

B. Tornado or funnel cloud reported by a trained spotter.

C. Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued by the National Weather Service or a report from a trained spotter that includes:

Wind 70mph or greater (whole trees blown down) (Additional background at

www.spc.ncep.noaa.gov/efscale) and/or golf ball sized hail or larger (1.75 inch diameter or greater)

There will be no all clear signal from outdoor warning sirens.

Citizens are expected to be indoors and should monitor local media for additional information.”

While we are also on this topic, I would just like to remind residents that if you have not already signed up for the Nixle text alerts, I would highly suggest that you do so. This is a GREAT way to be informed of severe weather alerts by getting text messages. I signed up for it immediately after Mahaska County became a part of Nixle and I am glad I did that. To get information on how to sign up, go to www.mahaskaready.com and click on the Nixle tab, which is on the right hand column of the home page.

Next week, look for information I have finally received regarding house demolition in SW Oskaloosa.

If you have a question about anything that is occurring in the community, or about an upcoming event, please feel free to send them to me. I will do my best to find an answer for you. Please e-mail them to me at oskyquestions@gmail.com.