Muscatine Officials Meet to Discuss Deadly Tornado, Siren Policy

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A week that began with a deadly tornado is ending with a call for action in Muscatine, Iowa.

Behind closed doors, city and emergency officials met at City Hall on Friday, June 28th, 2013 to discuss the severe weather that swept through Muscatine on Monday and the sirens that didn’t sound.

“There’s absolutely no finger-pointing with this meeting today,” Muscatine Mayor DeWayne Hopkins told media after the meeting. “We cannot change what happened earlier this week, but we can learn from it and move forward.”

On Friday, the city was still cleaning up after an EF1 tornado tore through town. The storm turned deadly at Krieger Collision Center, where it killed a 65-year-old employee months away from retirement.

“You know, we can replace buildings and we can replace damaged automobiles and things of that nature, but we cannot replace the human being,” Mayor Hopkins said.

It’s one reason why Mayor Hopkins says the community’s questions deserve answers.

Earlier this week, News 8’s Angie Sharp sat down with Donna Dubberke of the National Weather Service, who explained that this unusual, nearly invisible tornado formed from the ground up on the edge of the storm.

“It’s much more difficult to warn for a storm when the tornado is spinning up from the ground, because you just can’t see any sort of features until it’s already there,” she said.

No warning from Mother Nature meant no warning to the National Weather Service and, therefore, to Muscatine. Mayor Hopkins says it means we cannot continue to rely on just sirens to keep us safe.

“We as county officials and city officials need to do a better job of educating our community and encouraging them to take a little more responsibility themselves and accountability for what they do when they hear a siren or even when they don’t hear a siren.”

Check out more video, photos and coverage of damage from the June 24 storms – click here.

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