STEPHENSVILLE - After August tornadoes tore through Outagamie County, upgrades to the county siren system have been planned.
Work is underway to upgrade radio receivers in the sirens this week.
But that in itself won't help make sure sirens sound in an emergency.
Workers from Baycom are installing new radio systems in all 47 sirens throughout Outagamie County over the next week and a half. Outagamie County Emergency Management Director Julie Loeffelholz says it is part of an $80,000 federally mandated project.
"There won't be a significant change; it'll just be that the signal strength will be stronger."
The work being done on the sirens in the coming days won't have an impact on whether or not the sirens will sound in an emergency. That work will come in the coming months when a repeater is added to this tower out at the Outagamie County landfill. To ensure that what happened on August 7 doesn't happen again.
Storms that rolled through knocked out power to the repeater tower in the center of the county. Its backup generator was also disconnected. It's not known for sure if a second repeater tower would have helped, because Emergency Management decided not to sound the sirens during the storm.
While the radio work is being completed the sirens will be out of service. The new radio receivers in the sirens should be operational by the end of next week.
However the sirens will be turned off from mid-November to mid-March. Loeffelholz says the new second repeater should be operational by the start of the severe weather season next spring.
Emergency Management officials say the work on the second repeater tower will be completed as soon as the new equipment arrives.
But the county has to wait to turn on the repeater until the Federal Communications Commission issues a new broadcasting license.
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