Spavinaw residents wondered why they didn’t hear a storm siren when an F-1 tornado swept through the community.
According to Mike Dunham of Mayes County Emergency Management, Spavinaw never signed an agreement with MCEM to provide remote siren services.
“Spavinaw has a very old siren,” Dunham said. “It was pretty much manually sounded to draw volunteer firefighters to the station.”
Dunham said a signed agreement would only be the first step for the community.
“Their existing siren is not FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) approved,” Dunham said. He explained the siren would need updating as well as meet certain installation guidelines in order to meet FEMA approval and then be able to wirelessly communicate with Mayes County.
“Their existing siren just won’t cut it,” he said.
However, steps are being taken to remedy the situation.
Pryor Mayor Jimmy Tramel said new sirens were recently purchased for Pryor, making it possible for one of the former sirens to be surplused and given to Spavinaw.
“We’re going to give them one of our old ones, but they will have to upgrade it to make it possible for Mayes County Emergency Management to sound it off,” Tramel said.
According to Tramel, PSO is possibly donating a pole and setting it for the new siren.
“And Meredith Frailey, with the Cherokee Nation, has already promised $1,000 to help with the upgrade,” Tramel said.
Dunham said the total cost to upgrade could run up to $5,000.
Spavinaw’s newly elected town council has already started a dialogue with Mayes County Emergency Management regarding the agreement.
“They are going to be in a much better place next time around with a proper warning system,” Dunham said.
Tramel said Pryor sent a crew from the street department to Spavinaw on Monday to assist in cleanup efforts.
For more information, contact Spavinaw City Hall at (918) 589-2278.