KANSAS CITY - Portion of Cable Tornado Warning Fails Test

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

[Fair Use: For Educational and Research Purposes Only]

Cable tornado warning fails test Time Warner to investigate cause

Source: The Kansas City Star Publication date: 2000-06-08

A portion of Kansas City's cable override system for tornado warnings failed Wednesday during a routine monthly test.

The entire system failed May 11 when a tornado touched down in Kansas City, North, destroying an automobile dealership.

A bent pin in a telephone jack at Time Warner Cable operations caused that failure, said Al Wilke, a technical manager for Time Warner.

On Wednesday, about 20,000 cable customers in the Bannister Road area failed to get a test message sent at 10:45 a.m. The message was received elsewhere in Kansas City.

Wilke said he did not know what caused the glitch and the company was investigating.

Time Warner, the city's cable franchisee, and Kansas City officials plan to meet Monday to discuss the system's testing and operation.

"When any system fails there is concern," said Tanya Allen, the city's emergency management coordinator. "But again, that's why we have tests."

But City Councilman Paul Danaher said Wednesday the system should work, period.

"I think it's totally unacceptable that we have this kind of system and it doesn't work," Danaher said. "It's so basic. It's not nuclear physics they're working with."

Cable officials also want the system to function properly, said Carol Rothwell, vice president for public affairs.

"We have no reason not to want to give emergency alerts," Rothwell said. "It's a good start that we have this meeting on Monday."

Allen said Time Warner has been very cooperative and emergency officials are satisfied with the company's efforts.

"They've got crews out making sure all equipment is operational," she said.

If a tornado threatens, emergency managers are supposed to be able to send a voice warning to all of Time Warner's 113,250 customers in Kansas City. The system also would be used for hazardous materials incidents or flash flood warnings.

The test failure Wednesday came just hours after Danaher expressed concern in an Operations Committee meeting about the system's May 11 failure.

"I hope you could appreciate the level of frustration," Danaher said during the committee meeting. "We have an agreement with a cable franchisee and the cable franchisee drops the ball. ... For it not to work at that particular moment needs more explanation."

Danaher also expressed concern in the committee meeting that outdoor warning sirens may have been turned on after the tornado hit.

Emergency Management Director Mike Karl said the tornado formed very quickly, and the city sounded the sirens as soon as possible.

The City Council earlier approved a resolution from Councilman Ed Ford that asks City Manager Bob Collins to make a report by mid-July about the storm and the city's response.

Outdoor warning sirens also were tested at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. All sirens worked, Allen said, though three sirens were reportedly not as loud as usual and will be inspected by maintenance crews.

- To reach Bill Graham, call (816) 234-5906 or send e-mail to bgraham@kcstar.com



-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), June 09, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ