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Defenders expose siren problem in Huron Township

HURON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – It's important that outdoor sirens function to warn residents of severe weather, such as tornadoes, in the area. But residents in Huron Township say they can't get any answers as to why a siren was put directly in their yard.

Linda Blackburn has lived in her home for 18 years. She enjoyed the peaceful area until a siren popped up not far from her front door. Blackburn said the siren sound is uncomfortably loud.

"In July, we came home from work one day and the siren was installed in our yard. We didn't have any advanced notification," Blackburn said. "It's crazy to think the township did this."

Blackburn and her husband said they were upset because the siren is on their private property. The township says the siren is on public property.  The couple has been trying to get answers from the township for months about why their property was selected for the siren. They've attended several township meetings and heard others complain about the piercing tone that goes off at least once a month.

The Defenders brought an audio meter to the area outside the Blackburns home and recorded the siren's decibel level. During one of the readings, the siren registered 114 decibels -- which is in legal range -- but to put the measurement in perspective, a jet engine registers at 120 decibels.

At one township meeting, Supervisor David Glaab responded to an inquiry with this, "You had asked what legal authority the township has to install an early warning siren in the easement along the road way at your residence. As I told you, we have that information that we can present to you after the meeting. So we will deliver on that promise."

But the Blackburns said they never received any explanation from Glaab. They did receive a letter from the township attorney that stated, "FEMA approved the site plan as well as the specific locations of each individual siren."

But when Local 4 contacted FEMA, a spokesperson said FEMA does not have a requirement on where warning sirens are placed within a community.

Residents said they understand the need for the sirens, but want to know why they were placed so close to their homes and businesses. Why not an open field?

Glaab did not return calls for an interview.