In August of 2021 the Poweshiek County Emergency Management Agency was awarded a federal grant totaling $414,060 for a new county-wide outdoor warning siren system, the first county-wide project in Iowa. These 15 all-new sirens will feature the latest technology in outdoor warning by providing omni- directional sound coverage, automatic activation and testing, backup power supply, and siren and system status feedback to a main control panel in the Poweshiek County Dispatch Center monitored 24-7.

Over the last year, several site visits, engineering studies, coverage mapping, manufacturing and procurement has taken place to ensure we provide the best and most complete system possible that will provide the most protection and warning to Poweshiek County.

Beginning the week of September 12th, Table Rock Alerting Systems of Table Rock Missouri will begin the installation phase of this project. Crews will be around the cities installing the new sirens. This process is expected to last for 3-4 weeks. During this time the regular weekly siren testing will be suspended, however, there may be times the sirens are “bump tested” as part of the installation process. Crews will attempt to keep this at a minimum, but it is a necessary part of the installation process. In case of severe weather, the current sirens will still be able to activate for warning purposes. Emergency Management, Table Rock Alerting, and the National Weather Service will collaborate with one another to determine viability of installation on days any severe weather is forecast. Emergency Management will communicate with the cities and towns of when crews will be in your town doing the installs. We ask that you please refrain from calling dispatch to report hearing occasional sirens, and that you have multiple ways of receiving weather alerts (i.e., cell phones).

This grant award and new siren system is a direct result of the August 2020 derecho and two Poweshiek County lives lost during that storm-Chris Keller and Samantha Wierson. To honor them and their sacrifice this new system will be named the Keller-Wierson Poweshiek County Outdoor Warning System. Their legacy of protecting and serving their communities will live on as sirens dedicated in their honor to protect and keep watch over the communities they served. Formal dedication of the system to the families of Chris Keller and Samantha Wierson will take place at a later date.

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