My fiance and I moved to Rice Lake this winter and yesterday we experienced our first severe weather outbreak in this area. We were startled when the tornado siren sounded for the issuing of a severe thunderstorm warning. Doing some research we discovered that Barron County is one of the few counties in the state that does this. I strongly believe that it should be changed to only sound in the event of a tornado warning. My assumption is that the basis for the current system was adopted to make people aware that any severe weather event can be dangerous. In reality, sounding an alarm too often makes people less aware of the dangers of severe weather, not more. The National Weather Service has recently changed their warning system to reduce some of this 'Chicken Little' effect. The changes altered the warning system from a county wide warning to an area affected polygon. Additionally, starting this year, the wording used in warnings has changed to impart more of a sense danger during particularly strong storms. I would urge the county to change the system used as soon as possible.
Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
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I whole heartedly agree with this. I have been in town numerous times when the siren goes off. People continue about their normal business as if nothing is happening. I would hate to see a tragedy like the one in Oklahoma happen because people were “ignoring” the warning sirens because they have become conditioned to them.