Report requested on response to Sept. 25 tornado activity



By Ron Giofu


A town councillor is requesting a report on the town’s response to the Sept. 25 storms that swept through Amherstburg.

One confirmed tornado and one “probable” tornado came through town that night and Councillor Diane Pouget wants a “complete report” on the storm including information on whether the town’s emergency plan was enacted and why the sirens didn’t go off.

Fire chief Bruce Montone said the fire department receives the same information everyone else does and that the information the department received was that there was a warning for southwestern Ontario.

“That’s a pretty big area,” he said.

The brick welcome sign was also destroyed during the Sept. 25 storm that hit Amherstburg.

The sirens, he said, are not the most appropriate way to notify the public in those situations as they are only in the “primary zone” for a nuclear incident and have no ability to transmit messages. If there was notification of an immediate hazard, the emergency notification system would have been activated but Montone said they received no further information that what national and provincial systems were disseminating.

Pouget believed the town was “very, very lucky” that more damage wasn’t sustained, and that sirens can let people know to go inside.

“It could have been very devastating,” she said of the storm. “We want to make sure the residents are safe.”

Councillor Rick Fryer cited sirens in Monroe, Michigan are loud enough so that residents inside the homes can hear them and know there is an emergency.

Montone said town council had the foresight to purchase the mass notification system and that anyone with a cell phone or smartphone on the LTE system received an emergency alert. He added that current technology doesn’t allow for provincial notifications to be broadcast on other networks.

A report will be brought back to town council at a future meeting.

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