Tuscaloosa early warning system - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Tuscaloosa early warning system

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Tuscaloosa residents will soon be able to get emergency notifications any place and any time. The city just received a FEMA grant that will be used to install an early warning system for the general public.

The April 27th tornado barely missed Sycoria Mullins' house. " People were laying on the ground, bleeding, hollering, crying. I couldn't do nothing but cry. I don't want to experience that ever again."

The images are still there and the worry. The city of Tuscaloosa is already thinking ahead. Robin Edgeworth, over Tuscaloosa Incident Command says "We had a number of people that had indicated to us, they didn't have the warning." A reason the city is setting up an early warning system for emergencies. "This will allow residents of the city of Tuscaloosa to enter their phone number, email or pager into a database the city will be setting up and they'll be receiving a warning during the night or whenever it occurs."

And some residents would like a text alert or call. Gary Limmroth says  "We don't always have a weather radio with us, we have one in the office or house, but unless you're right there, you could miss that."

The city anticipates more grants. One, to build safe rooms at Tuscaloosa City Hall and the Department of Transportation plus.. "One of those is for generators to be used at the wastewater treatment plant as well as our water treatment plant. We know that during the storm on April 27th, 2011 we did suffer impact because of lack of water.

Proactive steps, giving residents who've been through so much, some peace of mind. Limmroth says "You don't realize how important water is to sustain you until you don't have it."

The warning system will be free. It's expected to be operational within the next year.  And if the safe rooms are approved, the city says they will hold around 300 people or more.