New weather alert systems installed in Aberdeen

ABERDEEN – Six newly installed weather alert systems could mean the difference between life or death for Aberdeen residents. The new systems bring the city’s total to eight, two of which were installed approximately 20 years ago.
“We now have an alarm system in every ward,” Aberdeen Electric Department Operations Supervisor Brian Sanders said. “We also have installed one in the eastern part of Aberdeen near the marina area. This one will alert the people living on the river in that area. If there is a tornado warning or anything regarding public safety, these alarms will alert Aberdeen residents.
Sanders said the electric department received the systems in the middle part of June and they were installed during the past few weeks.
“We have them scheduled to be functional as of August 1,” he said. “The only one that will not be activated is the system near the Aberdeen Marina.”
According to Monroe County Administrator Sonny Clay, the alarms were purchased with grant money received through the Department of Homeland Security.
“We received $82,650 from Homeland Secrity,” Clay said. “The Gilmore Foundation put up $4,350. The entire project cost $87,000.”
Sanders said the systems, manufactured by WHELENE, will be operated by a radio frequency which will be controlled through Monroe County 911.
“They work basically the way a text message works – if NOAA sends out a warning to Monroe County 911, they will activate the alarms by sending a radio signal. The two older systems, one is located on Martin Luther King and the other is at the electric department warehouse, can be activated at the Aberdeen Police Department. But all eight of them can be activated through Monroe County 911. “Sonny approached me about the electric department installing the systems with the only costs to the city being labor and a little bit of material and we were glad to do this. This will put Aberdeen in the same safety zone as Amory. Once Precision Communications inspects them, they will be completely operational.”

Jeff Clark/Monroe Journal