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On March 2, during the regular monthly outdoor siren testing, it was determined that some of the sirens within the city limits of Newton did not activate. The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office is the primary agency that is tasked with activating the sirens during testing and real weather events and are responsible for programming or radio issues.
JCSO believes that due to a communications system upgrade and new radio consoles being installed, that the sirens that did not activate in Newton needed to be reprogramed. The City of Newton, being responsible for maintenance and repair of the outdoor sirens, sent over the corrected program information to the Jasper County Sheriff’s office on Friday, March 4. Unfortunately, the severe weather on Saturday, March 5 occurred prior to the vendor who conducts the programming could fix the issue and therefore the sirens that did not activate on March 2, did not activate for the severe weather on Saturday, March 5.
A test was conducted of the outdoor sirens at 1 p.m. on Monday, March 7 after the vendor corrected the issue. We can confirm that all sirens in Newton were activated and worked during this test.
The JCSO does want to remind everyone that outdoor storm sirens are meant to alert people outside, and encourage residents of Newton and Jasper County to register for the Alert Iowa/RAVE alerts at http://bit.ly/JasperAlerts, and to pay attention to National Weather Service alerts, whether through the Weather Emergency Alert (WEA) system or through a NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) network.