Early Warning System Under Discussion in Elgin

Full story: WLTX Columbia 9
Military veteran John Simmons is recounting the moments just before Saturday's tornado struck. Full Story
John Doe

Lexington, SC

#1 Mar 18, 2008
doesn't look like an EF-3 to me. Maybe a 2 at best
King Gamecock

United States

#2 Mar 18, 2008
I noticed the comment about his weather radio not going off. I wonder if he had it set up correctly as mine didn't quit going off the entire day. If the NOAA didn't give a warning I doubt that an alarm system would have warned anyone either.

Since: Jun 07

Knoxville, TN

#3 Mar 18, 2008
I agree. Our radio started going off around 10am and stayed active throughout the day.(I live in NW Richland county and have Newberry, Lexington, & Richland counties programmed.)

The mere fact is that if NOAA did not issue an alert, then any warning system would be as useless as the weather radio as they are both driven by information from NOAA.

Fact remains is that these storms were during the day and anyone with a radio and/or tv would have known about them since the same system polished Atlanta the day before.

Looks like the "it can't happen to me" mentality almost caught alot of folks with their nickers down. Good thing the family had an alternate plan.
King Gamecock wrote:
I noticed the comment about his weather radio not going off. I wonder if he had it set up correctly as mine didn't quit going off the entire day. If the NOAA didn't give a warning I doubt that an alarm system would have warned anyone either.
Not Trying To Be Unkind

West Columbia, SC

#4 Mar 18, 2008
I cannot imagine the terror, heartache, and grief these people are going through. My heart goes out to them.

Just wondering, though....when was the Elgin area last hit by a tornado, if ever? Would an early warning system (I do not know exactly what is being considered but I "picture" a siren-type alarm placed on poles similar to the area around the V.C. Summer Plant), and a tornado can hit without advance warning, be cost effective? Even with a warning system the tornado can hit so quickly that the warning system may be sounding just as the tornado hits. It is a rather rural area too, so how many sirens would have to be installed? You probably could not install enough because somebody, somewhere would not be within range.

There were warnings all day long on the TV, although some may not have had their TV on.

I am thankful that there were no deaths, but the residents will go through a "grieving process" too because of the loss of property and the loss of feeling secure and safe.
Meow

Hartsville, SC

#5 Mar 18, 2008
Those NOAA radios were working. Need to program it for your county and audio alert!
Future Stormchaser

Redmond, WA

#6 Apr 8, 2008
Ok, the early warning system might have some flaws. However, if the storm system is a big one the power might have been out for a long time leaving the person in the dark about the tornado warning and they might not have a weather radio either. The siren might just give someone enough time to get to relative safty before the tornado hits.

Not everyone has weather radios, and many really dont care enough to purchase them. It is concievable that this early warning system tho it might be expensive may just save lives in the long run.
Nannie Jarvis

Dublin, OH

#7 Apr 9, 2008
We came down from Columbus OH to assist my daughter,Melissa,her husband John Simmons and my grandsons Cody,and Brandon in the aftermath of the tornado that struct their new 1 1/2 yr. old home. Such a shame, but I Thank my God for His saving grace in keeping my family safe, tho He took some of their material possessions; their lives were spared to continue on; for the boys to grow up and hopefully do great things with their lives. For now, build another home and start over.Gods blessings upon them, Nannie Jarvis & Charlie
Slim from MN

Minneapolis, MN

#8 Apr 13, 2008
Wow can any one read. It said the the radio was the thing that saved them. or you can watch the video and it says the same thing. LOL I am glad that your family is ok by the grace of God
Robert

Lexington, SC

#9 Apr 24, 2008
Slim from MN wrote:
Wow can any one read. It said the the radio was the thing that saved them. or you can watch the video and it says the same thing. LOL I am glad that your family is ok by the grace of God
Think you need to read that story again...Mainly this quote: " "We have the NOA radio and we bought it specifically for emergency weather and it didn't...it let us down," says Simmons"

NOAA weather radio was on air and working properly. However, the National Weather Service did not issue a tornado warning for this Kershaw County with this storm. Therefore any warning system that relies on the National Weather Service Warnings (Including NOAA Weather Radio) did not go off for this. There was a tornado warning for Richland County just prior to this touchdown. However, the National Weather Service did not reissue the warning to include Kershaw county once it crossed over the Kershaw County border. Since Elgin is in Kershaw county, it was not warned. Big mistake on behalf of the National Weather Service.

It is recommended that you program all of the bordering counties to you in your NOAA Weather Radio. Had these folks done that, they would have known a tornado was in Richland county and approaching their county and they would have at least had an indirect warning that a tornado was near by.

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