Lightning strikes out two Jefferson City sirens

This emergency siren near Highway 179 and W. Main St. sustained heavy damage from a lightning strike.

A monthly test of emergency sirens in Jefferson City on October 3 revealed that two of the city's sirens are not working. Investigation revealed that they had been damaged by lightning strikes in a recent thunderstorm.

The two sirens are located near Highway 179 and West Main street and near the Ike Skelton training site on Militia Drive.

Jose Ayala is a manager at El Espolon restaurant, which is located near the W. Main siren.


It's a safety hazard for everybody that lives around it. Especially being a restaurant, where we have a lot of people, I believe we should have it working again. For the safety of both the employees and the customers," Ayala said.

He said a restaurant patron saw the strike happen.

"She said that there were some pieces falling out from it, but after that that's all I heard," Ayala said.

Director of emergency management for Cole County Bill Farr said the strikes actually burned through the siren amplifiers and electronics. In an email, Farr told KRCG 13 that it's "not normal, but this does happen in severe weather occasionally."

Farr added that emergency sirens are strategically located to overlap, so people in the area of the broken sirens would still be able to hear the emergency warnings.

A siren at the Taos exit on Highway 50 overlaps the siren on Militia Drive, and one near Capital Mall overlaps the one near Ayala's restaurant.

Lieutenant Randy Dampf of the Jefferson City Police Department says right now they are waiting for a complete assessment of the damage before they can get a final cost estimate.

They hope to get the estimate sometime next week.

Farr said the total cost could be around $30,000. Lt. Dampf said the city has property insurance, so it could be responsible for a deductible but then insurance could pick up the remainder.