Update on 4/14/2022
The City of Newton outdoor warning siren system includes nine siren sites that are maintained by the City of Newton and activated by radio signal sent from the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center.
The system is tested on the first Wednesday of the month and is verified for activation by members of the community. We have identified the issues that have resulted in one siren not working and one siren activating on its’ own and are currently completing repairs.
The system provides overlapping coverage between sites so if one site fails the warning can still be heard throughout the community.
In addition to the outdoor warning siren system, citizens are urged to turn on WEA notifications on their cell phones and sign up for Alert Iowa notifications. Local and regional media outlets are also excellent sources of information when storms are approaching or moving through the area.
Update 6 p.m. on 4/12/2022
After being contacted by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office in the late afternoon on Tuesday, April 12, the City of Newton found that Outdoor Warning Siren #1 (located at N 11th Ave E & E 12th St N) was malfunctioning. Newton Fire Department and City of Newton Publics Work staff checked the other outdoor warning sirens and no other sirens were going off. Siren #1 will remain out of service until the issue can be diagnosed. distribution of the remaining seven in-service outdoor warning sirens in the community create redundancy and overlap in the case that the outdoor warning sirens are needed tonight due to severe weather.
Please make sure to turn on your WEA notifications on your cell phone and sign up for the Alert Iowa notifications (text JASPERIA to 67283 to receive alerts or visit http://bit.ly/JasperAlerts). You can also tune into local and regional media outlets (radio and television) tonight to stay informed of severe weather that may move through the area.
Update from 4/11/2022
After the outdoor warning signal test last week, it was determined that Warning Siren #8 (located at Agnes Patterson Memorial Park) is non-functioning. RACOM (Jasper County’s public safety communications company partner) was in town the afternoon of Friday, April 8 to test the unit and found that it was not decoding. At this time, the City has sent the control board to Federal Signal (the outdoor warning siren company) to diagnose and repair. All other outdoor warning sirens passed the test last week. The distribution of the outdoor warning sirens in the community create redundancy and overlap in coverage in the case that the outdoor warning sirens are needed to warn of severe weather.
On Sunday, April 10 it was reported that outdoor warning sirens were going off in Newton. Jasper County Sheriff’s Office did a check and the outdoor warning sirens were going off due to a technical difficulty stemming from a radio skip from outside of Jasper County. A radio skip occurs when another jurisdiction is using the same radio frequency (sometimes as far away as 500+ miles) as our emergency communication channels. Due to atmospheric conditions, sometimes the radio frequencies can travel much further than normal and can cause interference with the radio frequencies on public safety communications – including the outdoor warning sirens.
Due to the severe weather in the forecast, please make sure to turn on your WEA notifications on your cell phone and sign up for the Alert Iowa notifications (text JASPERIA to 67283 to receive alerts or visit http://bit.ly/JasperAlerts). You could also consider purchasing a weather radio or downloading weather apps from regional media stations (KCCI, WHO or WOI).