New storm alert protocol effective in Yankton County - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

New storm alert protocol effective in Yankton County

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If you live in Yankton County, emergency management officials are taking new initiatives to alert you ahead of a storm by creating new guidelines and protocols for sounding sirens.

The sound of a tornado siren during a storm is one we don't often want to hear and sites of a storm are some we don't often want to see.

But with a new system effective Friday in Yankton County, residents there will be well aware of any storm much sooner.

"When the national weather service issues a tornado warning for Yankton County, they'll put in the accurate info and our dispatch will access the sirens for those communities," Emergency Manager Paul Scherschligt said.

Past protocol in Yankton County had sirens sounding, in the whole county, if and only if a tornado was confirmed or officially seen on the ground. Often times, that gave little lead time for everyone to get to safety.

"With the new technologies and everything going on, I believe they're able to pinpoint it to give us more of an accurate look at what's going on so we can get those areas under cover rather than blanketing the whole county," Scherschligt said.

People we met who live in the Yankton area are pleased with the new system.

"It thought it was a very idea. when you're sleeping, you don't always know what's going on so it's a very good idea," Pamela Blank said.

"It's wonderful to be alerted that we are going to have a storm," Lois Thomas said. "We're building a storm shelter now because we don't have a place to run so it'll be wonderful when we are alerted. IT's scary when you have grand children in the area so it's comforting."

Now, sirens will sound in specific communities that face storm cells with 75 mph or greater winds along with hail 1 inch or larger.

Regardless whether you live in Yankton County or not, you're always encouraged to have a weather radio on-hand. The sirens may not always be effective, especially at night. When storms approach, the National Weather Service, and local authorities, can give you and your family plenty of time to get to a safe place.

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