EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- It’s a story we broke as part of an Assignment 13 Investigation.
The sirens that are meant to help protect people who are outside when storms are closing in continue to be silent in parts of Eau Claire.
The city of Eau Claire said three of its 19 emergency warning sirens failed during last week’s test.
Crews were at work Monday afternoon repairing the siren at the Shawtown Neighborhood Park.
Bob Boecher of the Department of Public Works said the siren malfunctioned because it was struck by lightning during a recent storm.
“Because the battery was split and two of the batteries were dead,” Boecher said.
The buildings, grounds and fleet manager said it’s a similar story at Memorial High School where a lightning strike fried the siren’s radio receiver.
“High voltage surge caused the battery to split, meaning all the acid dripped out, meaning those batteries don’t work and those sirens require the batteries to operate properly,” Boecher said.
Mother Nature is even using our recent extreme heat to strike back at the sirens.
“When it gets hot like this they can boil over and boil out,” Boecher said
The siren near the Princeton Valley Golf Course also failed last week’s test but that’s currently being looked into.
Boecher said crews from the siren vendor were in Eau Claire Monday checking up on the city’s sirens.
“The batteries need to be maintained and that's something we're working on doing a lot better job at,” Boecher said.
The city said the siren at Memorial High could be silent for the next six weeks and neighbors should listen for other sirens in the areas.
There’s no word yet on when the two other malfunctioning sirens will be back in service.