PALMYRA, Mo. | Count the commissioners of Marion County among those in support of an outdoor warning system for the Taylor area.
During Monday's meeting of the county commission at the courthouse in Palmyra, David Lomax, presiding commissioner, Steve Begley, western district commissioner, and Larry Welch, eastern district commissioner, signed a letter of support in behalf of the ongoing efforts to secure a warning system for the unincorporated community of Taylor.
According to the letter that was signed by the commissioners, the warning system being sought will be capable of providing announcements and broadcast warnings.
The letter adds that “such a system is vital to protecting human lives” in Taylor, which is subject to severe storms and flooding.
Being a rural area, residents rely heavily on their cell phones for notifications which provide early warnings, according to the letter, which states such a system “can be unreliable.”
While not directly involved in the grassroots effort to secure an outdoor warning system for the Taylor area, John Hark, Marion County's emergency management director, is a proponent of it. “I think it is wonderful idea,” Hark said. “There is not a tremendous amount of people right there in the Taylor area, but there are always people out and about, and there is the truck stop and convenience shop up there. Anytime you can put out a warning that saves a life, that makes a difference.”
If the Taylor area is successful in securing the warning system, it would join Philadelphia as a Marion County unincorporated community with a warning siren. Hark estimates that Philadelphia has had its siren for “three or four years.”
According to Hark, the need for warning systems in the county's unincorporated areas is steadily growing.
“Some of these larger subdivisions on the edge of town (Hannibal) can't hear what we have got (sirens),” he said. “The area around Hannibal, between Hannibal and Palmyra, and between Hannibal and New London in Ralls County, there are getting to be more and more residents in those areas.”