Burton confirms sirens went off during tornado warning

BURTON — During last week’s tornado warning, sirens in Genesee Township reportedly did not go off prior to a tornado causing damage to the Camelot Villas mobile home park.

In Burton, officials confirmed their sirens went off during the warning. However, they also expressed concern because of the failure of sirens in Genesee Township to the north.

“Our sirens should have gone off,” said Councilman Tom Martinbianco, during discussion at Monday’s council meeting. “I don’t know if ours went off or not.”

Councilman Duane Haskins confirmed the sirens went off, noting the city’s sirens have a function that allows the fire department to activate the alarms manually if needed.

“Burton’s sirens went off,” said Haskins. “Genesee Township’s did not go off.”

While the city’s sirens went off when triggered by the Genesee County 9-1-1, Haskins said the city pays for the option to activate the sirens manually.

“Not all municipalities pay for that feature,” said Haskins.

He questioned the way the alarms are triggered, often only alerting communities where a funnel cloud has been sited and not necessarily activating those in other communities.

“It makes no sense to me,” said Haskins. “It could change at any moment – think that’s ridiculous.”

Also, at the meeting, Councilman Dennis O’Keefe said the 911 Consortium is setting specific dates to pack up and collect the old fire department radios. The county just spent $6.3 million for new radios and they are almost ready to be put into service.

O’Keefe said there have been some glitches with the new radios, but that is being worked out.

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