Storm sets off Brunswick Hills' tornado sirens, but doesn't produce a tornado

Storm sets off Brunswick Hills' tornado sirens, but doesn't produce a tornado
Tony Moran's house will need repairs after strong winds blew off an exterior portion of it. (Source: WOIO)
Tony Moran's house will need repairs after strong winds blew off an exterior portion of it. (Source: WOIO)

BRUNSWICK HILLS, OH (WOIO) - The people of Brunswick Hills are still cleaning up the damage from Tuesday's early morning storms.

Trees were split in half and some roofs were damaged.

An actual tornado never formed or touched down, but the sirens did go off.

Cleveland 19 News looked into the criteria for sounding the alarms in Brunswick Hills.

The storms hit Tuesday around 3 a.m.

At that time of day, city officials say it's up to dispatchers with the city of Brunswick to make the call to turn on the sirens if they believe lives could be in danger.

The city of Brunswick runs police and fire dispatch for Brunswick Hills.

It all started with a 911 call.

"Hey we just had a tornado hit our house," the caller said.

"A tornado hit your house?" The dispatcher replied.

"Yeah, it touched down and went back up, and took out the side of our house."

City officials later learned that a tornado did not hit Tony Moran's house off of Marks Road in Brunswick Hills, but the storm did some damage.

"The winds started picking up and it sounded like a train, it was loud," Moran said.

After his call came in to Brunswick dispatch center, city manager Tony Bates says a few other people called concerned about severe weather.

So the sergeant on duty activated the tornado sirens.

Bates says it was the right call and it's better to be safe than sorry.

If storms hit during daylight, he says they would try to get confirmation of a funnel cloud from weather spotters before turning on the sirens.

We now know the tornado sirens in Brunswick Hills are working just fine.

They were just reactivated last year.

City officials say they were turned off for a few years because someone kept setting off false alarms.

Now they say their system is more secure.

Bates points out to the deadly tornado in Blue Ash, Hamilton County that killed four people on its 10-mile path through the darkness in 1999.

Not all of the tornado sirens went off.

Brunswick officials say it's better to run their sirens if the weather gets severe, if it's dark out and they can't confirm whether or not it's a tornado.

It's up to local cities to determine when and how to turn on their tornado sirens.

Follow Cleveland 19 News:  

Download the Cleveland 19 News app

Copyright 2016 WOIO. All rights reserved.