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Hot Springs: Emergency Warning System Replacing Obsolete Sirens

For the first time in more than 10 years a central Arkansas town prone to massive flooding is getting a long awaited upgrade to the emergency alert system.
HOT SPRINGS, AR - The City of Hot Springs hasn't had a siren warning system since before the new millennium.

As many cities have turned to, people that live in Hot Springs do have the ability to be a part of their "Smart 9-1-1" system. In such a tourist driven town however, that program can be limited at times.

So now, new sirens placed around town will be able to provide warnings that wouldn't have been heard before.

For more than a decade old, obsolete warning sirens have sat unused across town.

Stormwater Manager for the City of Hot Springs, Max Sestili said, "We really have no way to alert them to weather conditions, flooding, tornados ... things like that."

That is until now.

Wednesday (1/15) began day one of a new project bringing the first system of its kind to the "Spa City."

"[The project] is installing five omni-directional sirens, emergency sirens systems for downtown Hot Springs," Sestili explained.

While it remains on the ground level of the installation process now, it will be a complex system that can actually allow emergency officials to tap in to the National Weather Service because as Sestili will tell you, "Downtown Hot Springs is prone to flooding."

The sirens will allow visitors fair warning and it won't just be a horn. Safety officials can actually talk into it, giving specific warnings.

"For instance: flooding is imminent, please get off the streets and then alert with a tone."

Which would give tourists and residents alike a chance to take shelter.

Five sirens will go up around downtown Hot Springs with the total project costing the city nearly $120,000.

The city hopes to have the first one up Wednesday night and finish the project by the end of the week.

Some officials hope to eventually add 10 to 12 more for city wide attention.
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