Macks Creek, Mo. to get first tornado siren thanks to state grant money

A thunderstorm rolls through Macks Creek, Mo. on 5/4/2020.
A thunderstorm rolls through Macks Creek, Mo. on 5/4/2020.(KY3)
Published: May. 4, 2020 at 4:15 PM CDT
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On March 7, 2017, an EF-1 tornado ripped through the sleepy town of Macks Creek.

"It totally destroyed one trailer house and damaged a lot of others. Had a lot of tree damage," recalled Mike Hufferd, Chief of the Southwest Camden County Fire Protection District.

After that storm hit, Hufferd started begging for a tornado siren.

The town has never had one.

"It's taken us up to three years, but finally, it looks like it's actually going to happen," Hufferd said.

"I checked grants all over the place trying to locate something, and was finally able to successfully secure this one for it," said Ron Gentry, Director of the Camden County Emergency Management Agency.

That grant money is coming from leftover federal funds Missouri didn't spend through the State Emergency Management Agency.

When the new tornado siren is installed in Macks Creek, it's going to be placed at the school building, which is one of the highest points in town.

"With the school being high on the hill, the siren will be able to get out a pretty good distance from its location," Gentry said. "So there will be several people who will hear the siren and be able to take advantage of it."

Not only will this siren be turned on during tornado warnings in town, Gentry said it can also send out a voice message alert.

Hufferd says keeping people safe is his main goal.

"Houses can be replaced, but the people in this community cannot be," Hufferd said.

The tornado siren has to be installed by June 30 for the county to receive the grant money.