Kentucky Emergency Management

Kentucky Emergency Management triggered a statewide tornado drill Wednesday morning, but some local residents said they didn't hear the sirens.

"I was sitting at my kitchen table and heard nothing," said Barbara Belz, a resident in the Sheffield Downs subdivision. "I know I've heard the sirens before and they're pretty loud."

Belz, who has lived in Hopkinsville close to three years, said her daughter across town went outside and didn't hear it either.

Christian County Emergency Manager Randy Graham said the sirens went off as expected at 9:07 a.m. CST Wednesday, but it's likely people who were inside a building didn't hear anything.

"They're set at the maximum safety level that they can be," Graham said in a phone interview Wednesday morning. "Something to remind people of, is outdoor warning sirens are designed to warn people outside to go inside to take cover. They are not designed to warn people inside."

Graham said there are 23 sirens across the county, and people who live close to one might hear it while inside their home.

According to a New Era Facebook poll, 26 percent of 367 respondents said they heard the sirens "loud and clear."

"I was wondering what was going on," wrote Nathan French.

"We heard it because we live down from the Indian Hills Fire Station," commented Donna Taylor Moore.

Seventy-three percent of poll participants said they didn't hear it.

"I had TV on and the test warning they had on was so loud I couldn't hear the city's siren," said Hopkinsville resident Debbie Smith.

According to a news release from Kentucky Emergency Management, partner agencies such as the National Weather Service, Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee and Kentucky Broadcasters Association were set to issue a test tornado warning message.

"Across Kentucky, outdoor warning sirens will sound, weather alert radios will activate, and television and radio stations will broadcast the alert along with mobile devices," the Feb. 28 release stated. "Citizens should check local weather forecasts regularly, get a NOAA Weather Alert Radio and sign up for alerts from their local emergency management officials."

Aside from the sirens, Graham said emergency management uses a variety of warning systems to get information out about inclement weather.

"We have a multi approach that we utilize — our outdoor warning sirens, the CodeRED phone calls and we encourage people to have a weather alert radio inside their home," he noted.

A NOAA Weather Radio is an automated 24-hour network of weather radio stations in the United States that broadcasts weather information directly from a nearby National Weather Service office. These are available at Walmart or online at for nearly $30.

Local residents can also sign up for CodeRED warnings on the city website at

Along with inclement weather alerts, the city's website states CodeRED warnings might be used for drinking water contamination, utility outage, evacuation notice, missing person, fires or floods, bomb threat, hostage situation, chemical spill or gas leak, and other emergency incidents where rapid and accurate notification is essential for life safety.

Graham said, "It's important to have multiple ways to receive warnings."

Reach Zirconia Alleyne at 270-887-3243 or

New Era Facebook poll results

Did you hear the tornado siren test at 9:07 a.m. Wednesday?

Yes, loud and clear — 26 percent

No — 73 percent

367 respondents as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

(1) comment


We live on south side of town on Stone Valley Drive, opened door and did not hear it!!

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