Don't be alarmed: Lake Tanglewood testing brand new warning sirens Friday

Don't be alarmed: Lake Tanglewood testing brand new warning sirens Friday
Warning siren at Lake Tanglewood (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - With the help of funding by FEMA, Lake Tanglewood now has two large warning sirens in place for the community.

On Friday morning at 11:30 a.m., sirens will be tested for the first time in Lake Tanglewood.

"When Amarillo does its monthly system-wide test, we'll be included for the first time," said George Moore, Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator for Lake Tanglewood.

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The sirens, placed at the north and south ends of the lake, will rotate, providing additional warning for residents in cases of wildfire evacuations, tornadoes, pipeline emergencies and more.

They can also possibly reach residents in surrounding communities like Timbercreek, Palisades and The Canyons.

"Depending on wind conditions, weather conditions, some of those residents may be able to hear one or both of our sirens," said Moore.

Costing around $64,000, 75 percent of the cost is covered by a federal grant funded by FEMA, initiated by a tragedy in the community in 2011.

"The project was initiated probably at about 2012," said Moore. "What generated it was the wildfires that went through here in February 2011 where we had about five minutes warning to evacuate."

For one Lake Tanglewood resident, the 2011 fire is fresh in his mind, as he also serves as a volunteer firefighter.

"Our warning systems down here, it's a siren but not enough people could hear it," said Roger Hubbard, a pastor at Lake Tanglewood Community Church. "We used the siren in 2011 to evacuate and nobody knew that."

"We had to go door to door, and that was slow, and that was dangerous," Hubbard continued.

Remembering the hardships the fire brought, Hubbard is optimistic about what the new system will bring.

"It makes you feel helpless that you don't have an adequate system, and this one looks like it's going to be adequate," said Hubbard. "I can't wait to test it."

When every second counts in an emergency, even a few extra minutes of warning time with a working siren system can go a long way.

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