Nashville Mayor Viewing Installation Of New Tornado Siren - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Nashville Mayor Viewing Installation Of New Tornado Siren

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nashville Mayor Karl Dean will be viewing the installation of a new tornado siren in south Nashville. The new siren is one of 20 being installed.

Dean announced in February they would begin expanding and upgrading the tornado warning siren system in Davidson County to increase the number of sirens to 93 across the city.

The city has also begun changing the sound of the sirens from an electronic tone to a tone that sounds more like an old air raid warning.

Officials said the mechanically-generated tone will be easier to hear and will travel farther.

Dean will visit the installation of the city's newest siren at the elementary school at Lakeview Thursday. It will provide warnings to the surrounding area that includes Nashboro Village and areas east of the Murfreesboro Road and Bell Road intersections.

In April 1998, tornadoes ripped across Middle Tennessee, including one that slammed into downtown and the NewsChannel 5 studios.

The storm killed a Vanderbilt student in Centennial Park, leading Metro to install seventy sirens in 2002. They added three more a few years later.

Today their electronic warning tone blankets most of Davidson County, but the system has aged and needs to be replaced.

Map of current and proposed tornado siren sites

"This improved and expanded weather siren system will help keep Davidson County residents safe during tornado season," Dean said at the time of the announcement. "Sirens are crucial to alert people outdoors that they need to take cover. Most importantly, we want everyone to be aware of the new sound the system will use, which will reach farther and should be easier for people to hear."

Metro government received grant funds in 2002 that allowed them to build an Outdoor Weather Warning System. The grant specified that the siren locations must be based on the 2000 Census data and outdoor population expectations.

This upgrade will include the latest 2010 Census data to recommend new locations. The new sites were identified, selected and recommended by the Metropolitan Planning Commission staff. You can view the entire list of tornado sirens, including the new ones, here.

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(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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