West Chester opts out of county-wide tornado policy


It's often the first warning you hear when severe weather is approaching, a tornado siren, but when to activate the sirens and when to hold off, has been a point of contention lately.

Most recently a Liberty Township subdivision had no warning when a tornado swept through their neighborhood, without sirens.

"We had absolutely no warning until we heard the crash," said Cathy Herr of Liberty Township.

Meanwhile earlier in the spring, Fairfield Twp. residents complained they heard the sirens when there was no tornado warning.

"If they're going to sound them off every time there's just a slight issue then that worries me," said Staci Hines of Fairfield Township.

"Many of the communities had very different policies," said Barb Wilson of West Chester Township.

Despite the county unveiling a new countywide tornado siren policy next week, West Chester Township is saying thanks, but no thanks.

"West Chester's is not all that different from the county policy and so we've elected to maintain the policy we've used here in West Chester for years," Wilson said.

Under West Chester's plan the sirens will be sounded if:

-The National Weather Service issues a tornado warning for Butler County

- The National Weather Service issues a tornado for the immediate area

- A reputable source spots a tornado in the area

"Our primary focus is to make sure residents and businesses understand that when West Chester activates its outdoor weather warning sirens, you need to seek cover now," Wilson said.

West Chester has 11 sirens in the Township.

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