Public reminded of use of emergency sirens

With the arrival of summer comes the potential for severe weather, including the many thunderstorms Rainy River District has witnessed over the last couple of weeks.
The Fort Frances Fire Department would like to remind the public about the use of the emergency sirens in those situations, and what they mean.
“The emergency sirens sounded last [Thursday] due to the sighting of a funnel cloud south of Internationals Falls,” noted Fort Frances Fire Chief Gerry Armstrong.
The weather office in International Falls issued a tornado warning for the area, at which time the Falls Law Enforcement Agency and the Fort Frances Fire and Rescue Service activated the emergency warning sirens.
“The sirens sounded for approximately 30 minutes until the tornado warning passed,” Chief Armstrong said. “Fortunately, the tornado did not develop near Fort Frances and there was not any report of damage.
“We want to remind residents in the community that the emergency sirens will sound only if we believe residents of the community maybe in danger from any sort of happening, natural or otherwise, that could endanger [their] well-being and safety,” he added.
A tornado watch means the atmosphere has the potential of developing into a tornado. A tornado warning means cloud rotation is happening or a funnel cloud has been spotted.
“At this point, the emergency sirens will be activated and people should be taking immediate action for their safety,” Chief Armstrong stressed.
If Environment Canada or the Falls’ weather office issues a tornado watch, the local fire department will monitor the situation for further updates. If a tornado warning is issued, the fire department will activate the emergency warning sirens.
“People generally will notice the approach of bad weather and everyone should watch carefully for any sudden changes,” Chief Armstrong said.
If the warning sirens sound, the public is asked not to call the fire department or other emergency response organizations such as police or ambulance.
Fort Frances residents should tune into local radio station B•93 FM and wait for instructions.
The radio station immediately will broadcast any information the fire department provides it.