Sirens Did Not Activate During July 23 Tornado in Naperville Due To System Error

Tornado Sirens did not activate in Naperville
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On Saturday, July 23, an EF-O tornado touched down in Naperville at the White Eagle Golf Club early in the morning and moved southeast through the city for 4.5 miles, as reported by the National Weather Service (NWS) located in Romeoville.  No warning was issued for Naperville by the NWS and no initial tornado sirens were activated.  A warning was issued for Romeoville that included a small portion of south Naperville.

Naperville Emergency Management Agency coordinator Dan Nelson wrote in a memo to City Manager Doug Krieger that the outdoor warning signals did not activate due to a configuration error during the system setup in April.

When there is a tornado warning from the National Weather Service, Naperville’s policy is to activate the outdoor warning sirens. With the installation of the new system, the sirens were set to go off through software provided by the outdoor warning manufacturer when the tornado comes to any part of the geographic boundaries of Naperville. 

The emergency dispatch team can sound the sirens manually if the warning bulletin includes Naperville in the tornado area. Nelson said the warning bulletin did not include the City of Naperville, so there was no manual warning from city personnel.

Nelson said the system vendor corrected the error, and issued nationwide fixes for its system to work properly going forward.

Reporting for Naperville News 17, I’m Will Payne.