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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Mitchell Mayor Nathan Jenkins Responds to non-working Tornado Siren - Tornados happening more

MITCHELL - APRIL 2, 2022 - Mitchell Mayor Nathan Jenkins has responded to the news article that appeared in the Lawrence County Zephyr Friday night titled " Mitchell Residents Express Concern over Tornado Siren not Working at 5th and Hancock".

This Mitchell Mayor's Nathan Jenkin's statement:

" I would like to address Lawrence County Zephyr's article pertaining to storm sirens.

Yes the siren on 5th and Hancock is not working.

ECS which provides maintenance for the county is waiting on parts to repair the siren. The police dept,fire dept, Lawrence County emergency management and I are aware.

Per police chief Mike Hardman, Lawrence County Emergency Management has monitored the weather and kept us up to date with what was happening, and appropriate steps would have been taken the needed steps to warn residents had the need came about. Chief Hardman stated that these sirens are not designed to notify residents in your home but outside where radios might not be available." said Mitchell Mayor Nathan Jenkins.

When the new Mitchell tornado siren was being tested last year; former Mayor J.D. England called Lawrence County Central dispatch, who then had to get permission from the Lawrence County EMA director Luchuear to conduct the test.

According to Lawrence County EMA director Valarie Luchauer, local governments are moving away from outside warning systems for tornados and focusing on residents to purchase weather alert radios that are inexpensive and not as costly to maintain.

" The weather radios are only $49, and some fire departments offer the radios for free for those who are low-income or disabled. The outside weather sirens are only good for those who are outside the time they go off. And people are normally sleeping or inside their home at night and may not hear the sirens go off. Weather radios provide a much better way of alerting homeowners," said Lucauer.

Photo: Residents put a tarp on a home near Springville after a tornado strikes the Springville area in 2017

The City of Bedford has ten tornado sirens, Mitchell has only one working siren at Mitchell City Hall and Oolitic has no sirens to alert residents of a tornado.

Previously, Lawrence County Officials decided it is too expensive to add tornado sirens to the rural communities of Lawrence County.

Monroe County has several tornado sirens to alert residents in populated areas of that county.

A public review of Lawrence County Hazard Mitigation Plan will be held on April 19th at the City Concourse located at 1402 H Street in Bedford. This plan will address disasters that are caused by natural disasters such as tornados. The public is allowed to address concerns over the county's preparedness for emergencies such as tornados.

If residents feel like the hazard mitigation plan needs to address the weather preparedness the meeting will begin at 7:00 pm and last about one hour.

A survey will be taken at this meeting.

According to the National Weather Service data there has been 24 tornados that has hit Lawrence County since 1955.

One person was killed and 58 people injured during this time period. Damages totaled over $32 Million.

Tornados have been more prevalent in the area over the last several years.

Photo: Storms caused a tree to fall onto a vehicle on Dixie Highway Friday, night in Lawrence County

Here is a list of tornados for Lawrence County Since June 2, 1990.

  • June 2, 1990 - an EF - 4 tornado hit killing one child and injuring 51 others. The damage was estimated at $2.5 Million

  • On April 15, 1994, an EF - 1 tornado hit in the Bryantsville and Mitchell area injuring 5 people the damage more than a half-million dollars

  • On April 19, 1994, an EF-O tornado hit Bedford. There were no injuries, there were damages estimated at around $100,000

  • On October 25, 2001, an EF_1 tornado hit the Williams area, there were no injuries. The damage was estimated at $100,000

  • On November 15, 2005, an EF_1 Tornado hit the Coveyville area. There were no injuries. The damage was estimated at around $50,000

  • On April 2, 2006, an EF-1 tornado hit the Mitchell area. There were no injuries. The damage were estimated at $100,000

  • On June 3, 2008, an EF-1 Tornado hit the Popcorn area. There were no damages. The damage was estimated at more than $120,000.

  • On May 3. 2009, and EF-3 tornado hit the Fayetteville area and EF-0 tornado hit Bedford. Two people were injured. The estimated damage were estimated at more than half-million dollars in damages

  • On May 25, 2011, and EF-3 tornado hit the Erie Church Road area, and EF-O hit the Huron area causing $165,000 in damages.

  • On November 17, 2013, an EF-1 tornado hit the Bedford area. No injuries were reported. The damage was estimated at $70,000.

  • On March 1, 2017, an EF -1 tornado hit Mitchell and an EF- 2 hit the Huron area. No injuries were reported. The damage was estimated at more than $220,000.

  • On November 5, 2017, and EF-1 tornado hit the Springville area. No injuries were reported. The damage were estimated at $125,000.

  • On March 14, 2019, an EF-1 tornado touched down north of Brownstown, cause a home and several farm buildings and topping an irragation system. The tornado caused damage to Turner Construction on Indiana State Road 446 near U.S. 50 East.

  • On June 16, 2019, two EF-2 tornados hit the Eastern Greene and Ellettsville in Monroe County with more than 30 years damaged. There was widespread damage in the Raines Road in Eastern Greene County to Monroe County

Tornados can strike at any time, day or night and any time of the year.

For breaking news, news and information go to or like/follow the Lawrence County Zephyr Facebook page.


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