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Ruston Warning System

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RUSTON, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Severe weather can strike at anytime, anywhere; that's why the city of has put in the first city-wide alert system in case of emergencies.

13 towers like this one stand ready to give warning to the City of Ruston in case of an emergency.

Ruston Fire Department Chief Austin James says, "they are all within the confined of the city limits."

The final touches were put on the project this week.

Ruston Police Chief Steve Rogers says they've been lucky so far.

Rogers says, "we've seen around the country, the devastation with storms and if we can give people just some kind of early warning to take cover."

He says many people only think of tornadoes when they hear about warning systems, but it can be used for much more.

Rodgers says, "it could be used for other catastrophic events if we had say some kind of major major chemical spill we have railroad right though the middle of town so there are a number of things that could happen."

The Ruston 911 dispatchers will receive an e-mail from the national weather service with an alert, when the dispatchers receive notice they will then activate the warning system.

Rogers says, "with the sirens you also have the auditable you can give messages over the system so we could use that to maybe warn citizens to evacuate or stay inside their homes."

He says he knows from first hand experience sirens like this one save lives.

Rodgers says, "I heard the sirens as I was driving to my location and we got there and people said get inside and we got inside to a safe location and the tornado actually did pass directly over the building we we're in so yes it did help and it did get us there."

He wants to stress to everyone, when you hear the sirens, take them seriously.

Chief Rodgers says the warning system is expandable, while it's only in the City of Ruston right now, it could be expanded to cover the entire parish.

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