Texarkana, Texas Fire Chief Explains Tornado Sirens

Eric Schlotter Fire Chief
Texarkana Fire Chief Eric Schlotter

Texarkana experienced ten severe weather watches overnight Sunday, seven of which were warnings.  Bowie County made it through the storm, that killed two people only 35 miles away, with only minor damage and flooded roads.

A few citizens expressed concern on the TXK Today Facebook page that no tornado sirens were ever activated in the city.

According to Texarkana, Texas public information officer Lisa Thompson there are five people that can activate the tornado sirens.

  1. Fire Chief Eric Schlotter
  2. Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Matt Kennedy
  3. The police commander on duty
  4. The fire commander on duty
  5. Central Records and Communications dispatch supervisor

So we talked with Texarkana, Texas Fire Chief Eric Schlotter about how the decision to turn on the sirens is made.

“None of the warnings Sunday night met the level of threat to the city that would necessitate activating the sirens,” said Schlotter.  “There were only two of the seven warnings that were even relatively close to the city.”

Schlotter said that when a siren sounds there is an imminent threat to the city and that you should seek shelter and further information.  The best place for that information is Code Red Notifications.

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