ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. – St. Clair County, Illinois, hoped to have new outdoor warning sirens in place by June 2023.

The current sirens located in the county are not owned by the area. In some cases, the sirens have been broken for years.

“We’ve got a couple communities that these sirens are in, somebody has to literally get notified and then get in their car and drive to the office and set the siren off,” said Herb Simmons, St. Clair County EMA 911 director.

He said federal relief funds from the American Rescue Plan will help the county purchase 122 new sirens. An acoustic study was conducted to help determine where the new sirens should be placed. Broken sirens will also be replaced.

Outdoor siren systems are not designed to be heard indoors, but they are a way to warn when severe weather is on the way. With the new system, the National Weather Service will be able to send a warning to certain sirens based on where a severe weather threat is coming from.

“It’s going to be a lot better, efficient system,” Simmons said.