ARAB, Alabama — The city of Arab removed its weather siren systems on May 18, 2021.
Arab Mayor Bob Joslin said people should not depend on weather sirens for notifications as there are better ways to receive alerts. Joslin says the sirens are outdated.
"They came about 30 years ago after we had a bad tornado. The community came together and bought some sirens and had them put up. We have 14 sirens in the city limits of Arab: Ten of them work, four of them don't work at all," said Joslin. "Most people have a cell phone and they get notifications on their cell phone or they get it from the television station or the radio station, or they get it from some other means."
The city said the cost of having a contractor repair and maintain the sirens outweighed the benefits of keeping them.
"We had an estimate from [a contractor] of $92,000 to get the ones working and then $10,000 a year for a maintenance contract to review and keep them up to date which did not include parts and they're 30 years old, so parts are very, very hard to find," said Joslin.
The city is aware that not everyone has a cell phone which they can get alerts from.
"If they don't have a cell phone, come in and get on our log with the fire department, we'll give you a weather radio, we'll program it for you and it's not that you have to be technically savvy," said Joslin. "All you have to do it plug it in the wall and it's more precise, a lot better information."