10 Tornado sirens alert Bedford residents of Tornados

BEDFORD – There are a total of ten tornado sirens spread throughout the City of Bedford to alert residents.

Tornado siren on State Road 58 near Shandell Drive will be replaced soon.

The sirens are placed strategically throughout the City of Bedford to provide maximum coverage in alerting residents of a tornado.

“The sirens are activated by our police dispatchers when the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning,” said Bedford Police Chief Terry Moore. “The sirens can also be activated if a police officer observes an actual tornado.:

This year, the city replaced two tornado sirens after the poles were damaged by woodpeckers, and some of the sirens needing parts.

The City of Bedford is still trying to replace one tornado siren on State Road 58 near Shandell Drive.

“The siren was reported as not functioning properly last year, after COVID-19 hit, it delayed us in getting parts. The city also looked at moving the siren off of the State Highway 58 and closer to Shandell Drive,” said Chief Moore. “We are going have to replace the pole and did not want to damage the property owner’s yard. However, since this has been delayed for so long and the Spring season is upon us we are wanting to get the siren replaced as soon as possible.”

John Dixon a retired Bedford firefighter and resident on Shandell Drive expressed concerns to Chief Moore Monday afternoon following the Bedford Board of Works meeting.

The current siren is using old technology and after the siren is replaced residents in the area should be able to notice a considerable difference, according to Moore. The siren will be closer to the ground and penetrate further.

However, the siren does not rotate and does not provide a proper warning at this time.

All the sirens are tested every Friday at noon, to make sure they function properly.

McIntyre’s Brothers provides maintenance for the sirens every year, ECS Electronics installs the sirens, and Duke Energy provides the power.

To replace this siren, State Road 58 will have to be closed for a short period of time to install the pole and get the electrical power hooked up to the siren.

The time frame for the completion of this replacement is still unknown at this time.

In addition to the outside tornado sirens, residents are also encouraged to use television, radio, and weather radios to alert them of inclement weather conditions.

A Statewide Tornado Drill will be held today at 10:15 a.m. and the sirens will sound as a part of the drill.