Tornado siren system one step closer to being updated in Davidson County

Nashville Addresses Flawed Tornado Siren System
Posted at 3:22 PM, Jun 24, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It could be months before a software update is made to Metro Nashville's flawed tornado siren system.

As storms rolled in Friday evening, a tornado warning was issued for the Southeast portion of Davidson County, and the tornado sirens were sounded across the entire city. Metro Council Member Dave Rosenberg fears it's turned into a boy-who-cried-wolf situation.

"This weekend was a prime example of the problem with the tornado sirens as they exist now. You have one small corner of the county affected and folks downtown, and East Nashville, and Bellevue, and Goodlettsville, and Madison, and Joelton, are all being lead to believe that they’re in danger," Rosenberg said, "A lot of people think the sirens are a joke because we have a huge county, and the chances are, a siren that goes off isn’t going to apply to your area."

Mayor David Briley has allocated $500,000 to update the siren system's software, which is operated by the Office of Emergency Management.

"It will allow OEM to only sound tornado sirens in the area that’s actually warned; so if there’s a tornado going through Goodlettsville, folks in Bellevue and Antioch, won’t be woken up or disturbed in other ways through the tornado sirens," Rosenberg said.

As for next steps, the Metro Council has to approve the funding at an upcoming meeting, according to the assistant finance director.

"It doesn’t happen overnight, but the quicker they can get this done, the fewer situations we’re going to have, and the sooner people in Davidson County will be safer," Rosenberg said.

Following approval, it could take months for the update to happen according to the spokesperson for the Office of Emergency Management.

You can read more about past problems with the sirens here.