Normally when severe weather strikes, the sound of a weather siren is the warning to take cover. But due to renovations, residents of Bicknell will be without this resource.
Bicknell’s siren used to sit on top of the building behind City Hall, but local officials decided that was too low to the ground, and wanted to renovate the roof it was sitting on.
Thomas Houghland, the Bicknell Fire Chief says, “the roof at the old fire station that the city is using had to be replaced. Had to be replaced. So it had to come off. So that’s why. Bad timing, but there’s probably never a good time.”
The months of April, May, and June mark the peak of severe weather season in Indiana, so it would seem that deactivating the weather siren would be a risky move heading into April. However, the Mayor Thomas Estabrook of Bicknell says he is confident that this will not cause any issues
“With the day and age we live in now most folks can watch television or see the weather on their mobile devices and things, so I don’t see it being a big issue. But we still want to inform the public that there is going to be a change.”
In the meantime, Mayor Estabrook would like to encourage everyone in the community to sign up for a weather alert system called Code Red through the Knox County Emergency Management website. Code Red is a free service that will provide the updates instead of relying on just the siren.
“That service allows you to receive a phone call either at your residence or from your mobile device to give you alerts for when severe weather warnings are issued for our area,” says Estabrook.
Folks can also receive warnings if they purchase a personal weather radio for their home. As of now there is no timeline in place to get the town siren back on for the residents of Bicknell.
At this time the new location is still unknown, but public officials are working with Duke Energy to install the siren on a higher utility pole.