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Even in December There Can Be Tornadoes in Illinois
The McHenry Township Fire Protection District (MTFPD) announced today new partnerships with McHenry Township, Nunda Township and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) allowing for the purchase and installation of an outdoor warning siren within the Moraine Hills State Park.
“As we experienced this weekend, tornadoes can happen in Illinois in December. We are very pleased that a new siren has been installed in Moraine Hills State Park making it safer for the many residents who visit there each year,” said MTFPD Fire Chief Tony Huemann. “We were able to again work with other government agencies within our fire district to purchase new sirens together to provide better warning coverage during storms. By working together with other government agencies at the direction of the MTFPD Board of Trustees, we have been able to purchase multiple tornado sirens sharing the cost between government agencies and saving money for the taxpayers.”
Moraine Hills State Park covers approximately four square miles and serves an estimated 750,000 visitors per year. The new siren located inside the park also provides alerting coverage to portions of the Fair Oaks, Kent Acres and River Park subdivisions in McHenry Township and McHenry Shores, Oakhurst and Orchard Heights in Nunda Township.
“The outdoor warning sirens are part of a comprehensive approach towards mass alerting for tornado and severe weather events. Tornadoes are one of the most destructive severe weather events that often result in serious injuries and loss of life,” said Chief Huemann. “With the addition of the new siren in Moraine Hills, we continue to work toward our goal of providing weather warning sirens throughout the entire McHenry Township Fire Protection District.”
Ten total sirens have been purchased over the last three years – four were installed throughout the McHenry Township Fire Protection District earlier this year; three sirens were installed in 2017 and two sirens were installed in 2015. All 10 sirens are connected to the City of McHenry dispatch center where they can be simultaneously activated.
The MTFPD encourages residents to also incorporate other alerting methods such as monitoring the weather conditions from local news services, radio and television and purchasing a weather alert radio.
The outdoor warning sirens will be activated for a tornado warning issued for McHenry County and directly threatening the community. However, the warning sirens will not include an “all clear” siren tone and residents are urged to tune to local media for specific weather information upon hearing the warning siren