LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Three days later, and areas continue to see the aftermath of the tornado that hit areas off of McGregor Boulevard in Fort Myers.
A continuing question from residents: are there any kinds of sirens for storms like we had this past weekend? Some in Fort Myers say they heard a siren, so we contacted Lee, Collier and Charlotte county officials to get a better idea of what systems are in place.
"We don't have the outdoor warning sirens for our county," said Dan Summers, director of Collier County Bureau of Emergency Services and Management. "That would be a tremendous expense in order to cover incredibly large geographical area. Your best bet is the NOAA radio and subscribe to Collier [County's digital alert system] for additional warning information.
Summers adds that there is not a statewide siren systems in Florida. "That is really due to the fact that we do not have the frequency of tornadic activity that you experience in the midwest," he said.
Charlotte County Public Relations Manager Todd Dunn tells us the same thing. Hsays there isn't any type of siren like that in their community, but they encourage citizens to sign up for alerts on their phones through the app Alert Charlotte.
Lee County officials confirmed that some residents may have indeed heard some form of siren — but it was not to alert of tornadic conditions. Rather, it was likely the lightning alert system in place throughout county parks. Officials tell us that when the system detects lightning within 10 miles of a facility, the air horns sound for 15 seconds and a strobe light will activate. Park patrons who hear and/or see the light need to seek shelter immediately.
As with Collier and Charlotte, we are told tornado sirens are not being considered in Lee County.
All three counties offer emergency apps which residents can download on their smartphones. Each county says these apps alert for all weather situations such as wildfire evacuations, tornadoes, hurricanes and even water boil alerts.
For links to the alert systems visit:
Lee County - http://www.alertlee.com/
Collier County - https://member.everbridge.net/453003085614923/login