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Call of sirens to sound next week
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Forsyth County News
Weather permitting, Forsyth County's 12 new outdoor severe weather sirens will sound next week in another test of the system.

The sirens, part of a countywide network, are designed to warn people outside of possible severe weather or tornado. They can be heard from about a mile away.

The tests are scheduled during business hours Wednesday through Friday.

Lorraine Morris, the county's emergency management coordinator, said the tests will vary between two tones: Westminster chimes and one that sounds like a wail. 

Tests will also alternate between individual sirens and the entire network.

In December, officials cancelled a second day of testing after receiving poor results on the first day.

Morris explained there were communication problems between the sirens and the main unit at the Forsyth County 911 Center.

"The reason we want to make sure everything's correct is that the system is so important that we did not want to say it was in service when we did not have 100 percent connectivity with everything," she said.

Morris added that consistent testing is important because the risk of severe is always present. 

"We actually never have a month that we are not susceptible to severe weather in Georgia," she said. "Most of the time it's between February and October. We just consider it all year round."

Of the 12 sirens being tested next week, one is a replacement, while the other 11 have been installed recently in various locations countywide. 

Morris said the siren on the city water tower near Bald Ridge Drive and East Maple Street is activated from the Cumming Police Department

It will not be tested next week with the others because it's checked at noon on the first Wednesday of each month.

Morris said people in Cumming may be able to hear the siren at Sawnee Elementary School.

She said next week's testing will be delayed only if there is a potential for actual severe weather.

Once the system is on line, the Foryth County Emergency Management Agency will test the sirens at noon on the first Wednesday of each month, weather permitting.