APPLETON - Outagamie County officials want residents to feel safe as the threat of more severe weather rolls in.
As you may remember, the sirens were not sounded two weeks ago when several tornadoes hit the area.
With so many still cleaning up from the six tornadoes two weeks ago, Outagamie County Emergency Management Director Julie Loeffelholz says there is a sense of urgency.
"A lot of our communities are still trying to recover and a lot of our homes and businesses are still very fragile and we need to make sure we are giving them as much notification as we possibly can."
Loeffelholz says repairs were made to one siren Tuesday. She says all sirens in the county and the repeater tower which carries the signal to sound the sirens are functional.
"Everything should be ready to go in the event we might need them."
The sirens did not sound when the tornadoes hit two weeks ago. Loeffelholz said at the time there were no warnings from trained weather spotters or the National Weather Service.
Since then Loeffelholz, County Executive Tom Nelson and the sheriff's department have come under fire for not using the sirens. Loeffelholz said the sirens could not have sounded anyway because power to the repeater tower was knocked out.
Loeffelholz did not want to comment on those issues Wednesday. But she says she will be in the communications center Wednesday night monitoring the weather and will use the same criteria for sounding the sirens.
"We have to have credible reports of tornadoes. Certainly if the winds look like they are going to be at severe levels or if we receive a wind warning from the National Weather Service that will certainly be at the top of our minds to activate the outdoor warning sirens."
County Executive Tom Nelson's office said he was unavailable for comment Wednesday.
Nelson said earlier this week he wants an independent investigation into how the county responded to those severe storms earlier this month.
Loeffelholz says the county is hoping to hear more about possible aid for homeowners and businesses later this week.
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