Officials say Tsunami sirens are an outdated source of alerts

EUREKA, Calif.(KIEM)- During a test last year, six of the 15 tsunami sirens located around Humboldt County failed to activate. Officials believe it’s due to the Coastal climate.

“The main thing about the sirens around here. We live in a really corrosive environment with salt air, so very quickly they can rust over, and you know, they’ve been up there before 2011,” said Ryan Aylward with the National Weather Service. 

The sirens were never given a consistent funding source to maintain them, but the county has looked into replacing the sirens with a new digital system. That new system is estimated to cost 500 thousand dollars. But they don’t want to spend the money on what they believe is an outdated source of notifications.

“You know, they can be heard when you’re outside on the beach, but that’s about it. They weren’t meant to notify people in their homes. It was really just meant to notify beachgoers,” said Samantha Karges with Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services.

The county wants to emphasize signing up for Humboldt County’s public alert and warning system. Humboldt Alert will be among the several systems that will be tested this week.

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