Some Adairsville residents say they didn't hear tornado sirens

Some Adairsville residents say they didn't hear tornado sirens

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ADAIRSVILLE, Ga. -

Some Adairsville residents said they didn't hear warning sirens when an EF-3 tornado tore through the town on Wednesday. However, the county emergency management director told FOX 5 that the sirens sounded multiple times in the 20 minutes leading up to the storm.

Shirley Curtis, who was working in a windowless office, is one of the residents who said she never heard a siren. She said her first warning came from an Adairsville policeman who rushed into the office.

"He opened the door and said, ‘It's over City Hall. A tornado is over City Hall,'" Curtis said.

The two rushed into a bathroom and were saved from falling debris.

Misty Baker was in her family storm shelter 10 minutes before the tornado hit.  She said that she found out about the tornado from previous news reports.

Whether or not it sounded, Bartow County Emergency Management officials say they will be checking sirens to see if they worked. The county has 93 sirens altogether.

The National Weather Service says you shouldn't depend on sirens.  They are meant as an outdoor warning only. They encourage everyone to use a layered approach of sirens, a NOAA weather radio, television  and even smartphone technology.  

NWS officials told Fox 5 that it is surprised that the strongest EF-3 tornado in Georgia history in a January did not claim more lives and cause more injuries. They say this kind of damage usually does more harm.  So there is the belief that many, many people were warned somehow and took action.

The one fatality in Adairsville was to a man who was sleeping at the time the storm hit.

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