Residents in Bel Aire and north Wichita received a rude awakening early Thursday morning when a tornado siren began blaring — and kept it up for more than half an hour.
Several people called 911 at around 2:30 a.m. Thursday to report tornado sirens were going off “all across north Wichita,” Sedgwick County Emergency Management director Randy Duncan said in an e-mail response to questions.
A check of the warning device system determined only one siren, located at 5033 Lake Breeze Court in Bel Aire, was sounding, Duncan said. That siren was shut off by a repair vendor at 3:13 a.m. — meaning it sounded for about 45 minutes.
The malfunction appears to be the result of “an internal issue” with the siren, county spokeswoman Jill Tinsley said in an e-mail reply to questions. Until the problem is diagnosed and repaired, she said, that siren will remain out of service.
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The outdoor warning devices are only intended to alert people who are outside, authorities said.