By Billy Stitz
Severe weather is bad enough when you know it is coming but to be hit with gale force winds without warning could cause major disaster to any area.
On July 1st of last year, a major storm came sweeping through Moody County, taking out power and caused the towns a lot of money in damages. There was nothing anybody could do to stop the disaster from happening but at least the citizens could get to safety in time thanks to the warning of emergency sirens in their towns. Well, almost every town.
Ward was the only town in the County without an emergency siren and without it they were unable to warn the people to take shelter. That won’t be the case anymore.
Moody County Emergency Manager Terry Albers meet with some people and came up with the idea to place a siren in the town of Ward. Cost is always an issue but luckily for them, there was some money remaining from a grant the county received from Homeland Security in 2010.
With that grant, the county was able to purchase an emergency siren and also a backup generator that will allow the siren to function even if the power gets knocked out. They will also be using the generator to power the town’s water system in case of power failure.
“It is not the total answer but it is a helpful start,” said Albers about the Siren.
With the addition of the Ward siren, Moody County is now equipped with 12 sirens within its borders. Flandreau has four of them in town in addition to one at the City Park, one at the Tribe’s pow wow grounds and one at the Flandreau Indian School. Colman has two sirens with Egan and Trent each having one in town.
The siren in Ward is in the process of being fully set-up and should be finished within a few weeks.