Installation not expected until June

Hannibal's outdoor warning system will be expanded later this year when a new siren is installed in the city's western part.

Hannibal's 17th siren will be located on a hilltop adjacent to Shinn Lane, near Hannibal National Bank.

"I have watched that area grow, and grow, and grow," said John Hark, Hannibal's emergency management director, noting that the hospital, cancer center, clinic, community college and a new motel are clustered in that area. "I think we have enough people and property out there that we need to put one (siren) out there in that area so people can hear it."

Currently the closest siren is located to the east approximately a mile away, which Hark said can be difficult to hear from Shinn Lane, depending on weather and wind.

The new siren's should also reach Hannibal Regional Airport, located approximately a mile north of Shinn Lane on County Road 425. "Sitting out there on top of a hill, shooting straight out over the highway, they should be able to hear it at the airport, too," Hark said.

Hart does not think the new siren will be operational until the end of June.

While a sound coverage map indicates all areas of Hannibal can hear a siren, Hark acknowledged that there are "some spots that are far enough away that it's going to be faint." Hark added that the siren system is not intended to be heard inside of structures.

"That is what the Code Red (phone notification) system is for and weather radios," he said. "It is an outdoor warning siren system, so if you are outdoors and the sirens go off, you know to get indoors."

While the city's siren system is still operating efficiently, it is aging, Hark said.

"I hope to get something lined out in the next 10-year plan where we will replace at least one a year for 10 years," he said. "That will cover all the oldest ones and start on what I call some of the 'newer' older ones."

The city's Shinn Lane siren will cost, with installation, $19,915. That expense will be covered by a State Emergency Management Agency grant that Hark applied for and was awarded in late February.