Despite tornado watches, Southern Emergency Response Committee (SERC) hasn’t needed to use the newly installed siren system in Winkler. “We’ve had a quiet summer,” SERC Emergency Coordinator Chris Kalansky said.
The early warning sirens were briefly tested on Wednesday Aug. 14, running at 130 decibels to ensure functionality and communication systems with the Winkler Fire Hall where they can be remotely activated. “They work just fine,” Kalansky said, though if you were indoors and didn’t hear them that’s normal.
Kalansky explained the sirens were not designed to penetrate buildings, but rather give residents outside an advanced warning to seek shelter immediately in case of a natural or man-made disaster. The sirens were first heard in May as crews tested the coverage radius. The two rotating sirens, one at the Winkler arena and a second in Scotia Park, cover roughly 90 percent of the community, though people reported hearing the sirens from well outside the city.
The $100,000 sirens were purchased with the help of a $10,000 donation from Enbridge.