Rodgers: Ottumwa followed storm siren protocol

The Ottumwa tornado siren didn't sound during Sunday's storms for one very good reason.

At no time was a tornado warning issued.

City Public Information Officer Tom Rodgers responded on Monday to criticism the city has been receiving on social media.

Rodgers said that the protocol the City has always followed requires one of two criteria to be met before the warning is sounded.

The City must receive an official National Weather Service warning, or a trained spotter must identify a tornado.

Rodgers said the situation on Sunday didn't meet either criteria.

In fact, as of 11 a.m. on Monday, the N.W.S. hadn't ruled Sunday's event as a tornado.

Rodgers did offer this piece of advice for concerned residents.

"Anytime there is a watch out folks should be working with a little higher awareness of the weather and paying attention to the reports that are out there."

Rodgers said Ottumwa was pretty fortunate on Sunday. The city has received no reports of serious injury or loss of life.

Full Press Release from the City of Ottumwa

Heres the Situation Report regarding the April 27, 2014 thunderstorm:

Reports of tree and roof damage.

No reported severe injury or loss of life.

NWS surveying storm damage through SE Iowa today - they will stop in Ottumwa.

Wapello County was under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch followed by Warning. ã??ã??(NWS Severe Thunderstorm Watch #98)

There was NO Tornado Watch or Warning issued for Wapello County.

NOAA Weather Radio and Emergency Alert System (EAS) announcements were made in a timely fashion with all current information.

Outdoor Warning Siren was not activated per protocol. ã??ã??Activation requires either:

(1) a Tornado Warning issued by the NWS, or, (2) visual verification from a credible NWS trained weather spotter.


Tom Rodgers

Public Information Officer

City of Ottumwa, Iowa