ABINGDON, Va. - The Town of Abingdon sounded their warning sirens late Wednesday night because of severe storms, but that had many of you calling our newsroom to ask why.
Wednesday night's severe storms put Ann Lane and the Town of Abingdon on alert. "I was up until 12:30 making sure everything was okay. It was windy, and it was thundering and lightning pretty heavy," Lane said.
It also activated warning sirens and reverse 911 calls.
Abingdon Police Chief Tony Sullivan says there are two reasons why the alarms may sound. "If the winds are over 70 miles per hour and we're in that storm warning area, or there is a tornado warning, the sirens will be active," he said.
Sullivan says there are four warning sirens throughout the town and each will sound for about three minutes when activated. "The threat for us at 11:30 at night is people asleep at home in their bed, a tree falling down on their house, or their house being blown completely apart by a tornado," he said.
There's also Alert Abingdon, a system that allows people to sign up for alerts to their landline phones, e-mail, or by text message. "We do have the capability to basically force a phone call to every 911 address in the town should the situation dictate it," adds Sullivan.
Signs are also up around town that warn people when the sirens go off to get inside. "The purpose of the warning sirens is basically to get inside in the lowest area or safety area in their home," says Sullivan.
Ann Lane says you can't be warned enough. "They shouldn't be complaining. They should be happy and be glad somebody is looking out for them," she said.
Chief Sullivan wants to stress to people there will not be an all clear signal from the outdoor warning system.
He also wants to remind people if the sirens sound, you do not need to call 911 -- reserve that for reporting emergencies.
If you want to sign-up for Alert Abingdon, click here.