I-Team: Village of Eagle Tornado Sirens Failed Repeated Tests
There are a lot of questions about why tornado sirens in the Village of Eagle stayed silent during Monday night's storm. Now, a stunning discovery by the I-Team.
Those warning sirens are supposed to be a critical heads-up when tornados touch down, but Waukesha County Dispatch logs obtained by the I-Team show the Village of Eagle's sirens didn't just fail Monday night, they've failed test after test for months.
"We don't know why there are some issues [with the sirens]," admits Village President Richard Spurrell.
Minutes after the Waukesha County Communications Center hit the switch Monday night, dispatch logs show emergency crews in Eagle, "STATES NO SIRENS." Then, moments later, the log reports the Fire Chief "AT STATION ATTEMPTING TO MANUALLY SET OFF SIRENS - NOT FUNCTIONING."
"We are taking steps to make sure we do get word out," Spurrell said. "But as far as what happened with the sirens, we don't know at this point."
If Spurrell seem surprised, He shouldn't be.
During a siren test just on June 16, communications logs show the folks in Eagle "DID NOT HEAR THE SIRENS." We found two more failed tests in May. On the 19th, reports say "VILLAGE OF EAGLE SIRENS NOT WORKING," and on May 5th, "NO ONE IN EAGLE HEARD THEM."
First responders had even more problems with the sirens in April tests. On the 28th the logs read, "THEY DID NOT GET AUDIO/WANT THE TEST REPEATED," "SAYS EAGLE SIRENS DID NOT WORK," and "SAYS EAGLE SIRENS DID NOT WORK THE 2ND TIME EITHER."
On an April 22nd test, dispatch logs read, "NO SIRENS RCVD." And on the 14th dispatchers reported, "NO ONE AROUND TO HEAR SIRENS."
It's a very big mess on a very long list the Village of Eagle will have to clean up. The question is when.
"Right now, we have not assessed it," Spurrell said. "Our main priority is getting the residents safe and the houses assessed."
In all, out of eight tests since the middle of April, the sirens in Eagle only worked right twice. Until the problem gets fixed, Spurrell says if we do get another round of wicked weather, emergency crews will go door to door to warn people.