FORT SMITH – With the impending severe weather that is forecasted for today, the city of Fort Smith is warning citizens that one emergency alert siren will be inoperable today.

“With the possibility of severe weather on Friday, April 13th, the Fort Smith Police Department wishes to notify residents in the area of Rogers Avenue and Cliff Drive that the tornado siren is out of service due to a mechanical issue.  The siren is scheduled to be repaired early next week.  A map of the siren coverage area is attached.” the city said. “Residents in that area are encouraged to be aware of any rapidly changing severe weather until such time as the siren is repaired.  The tornado siren is not intended to alert those inside buildings; rather they are to alert those who may be outdoors. Utilize local media outlets, social media, and weather radios to be alerted to a possible storm watch or warning.”

A map depicting the coverage area of a tornado siren deemed inoperable by the City of Fort Smith

The City of Fort Smith assures residents that all other tornado sirens in the city are operable.

InsideFortSmith.Com will be providing wall-to-wall coverage via social media and Facebook Live audio of any severe weather warnings that are issued for the area. The National Weather Service updated their predictions this morning as to what areas will be impacted by the storm.

“Surface based storms are expected to develop along a dryline by 4 or 5 PM close to the highway 75 corridor in eastern Oklahoma and will then spread east into northwest Arkansas by the evening hours.” Meteorologists said in a severe weather statement. “A few of these storms may become supercells with the threat for baseball size hail, damaging winds, and possibly a few tornadoes. The greatest severe weather potential will be across far eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas, where environmental parameters will be most favorable. The severe weather threat will shift east of the region by midnight.”

The following safety tips should be observed during a tornado:

If you are at home during a tornado:

  • Go to a windowless interior room on lowest level of your house. Go to a storm cellar or basement if your house has one. If there is no basement, go to an inner hallway or a smaller inner room without windows, such as a bathroom or closet.
  • Get away from the windows.
  • Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they tend to attract debris.
  • Get under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a workbench or heavy table or desk and hold on to it.
  • Use your arms to protect head and neck.
  • If you are in a mobile home, get out and find shelter elsewhere.

If you are at work or school during a tornado:

  • Go to the basement or to an inside hallway at the lowest level.
  • Avoid places with wide-span roofs such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways, or shopping malls.
  • Get under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a workbench or heavy table or desk and hold on to it.
  • Use your arms to protect head and neck.

If you are outdoors during a tornado:

  • If possible, get inside a building.
  • If shelter is not available or there is no time to get indoors, lie in a ditch or low-lying area or crouch near a strong building. Look out for flood waters which may also fill low areas.
  • Use your arms to protect head and neck.

If you are in a car during a tornado:

  • Never try to drive faster than a tornado in a car or truck. Tornadoes can change direction quickly and can lift up a car or truck and toss it through the air.
  • Get out of the car immediately and take shelter in a nearby building.
  • If there is no time to get indoors, get out of the car and lie in a ditch or low-lying area away from the vehicle. Be aware of the potential for flooding.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here