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City of Kahoka Working on False Alarms
By Mike Scott
“We admit that we have a problem,” said Kahoka Mayor Wayne Blum.
The problem Blum is talking about is the city’s storm sirens. Four times recently, the sirens have sounded when there wasn’t a storm.
“We know nothing local is causing the problem,” Blum said, noting in every case of accidental activationbar, the sirens sounded the wailing, up and down “air raid” tone. The city’s storm warning siren is a constant tone, and is the only alarm that can be set off locally.
Late last week, Blum and a electronics consultant from Burlington, Iowa, reviewed the system to see if the cause for the false alarms could be found.
“All four sirens operate on the same radio frequency, and only two of the sirens have been activated. Why that’s happening, we don’t know,” Blum said.
Blum said it is likely that the problem is being caused by radio skip. Skip refers to a radio signal being reflected or refracted by the atmosphere or ionosphere, and returning to Earth in distant locations.
“We think it’s a stray signal that’s setting them off,” he said.
There are several possible solutions, and the city will start with the least expensive. The consultant is supposed to deliver a plan within a few weeks.
“We’re working on it,” said Blum.