Kansas Tornado Sirens Warn of Storm That Wasn't There

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Tornado sirens blared in the Kansas City, Kansas, area on Tuesday afternoon, warning residents of immediate danger — but there was no tornado in sight. In fact it wasn’t even a test.

Around 5:30 p.m. Central time, the National Weather Service in Kansas City, Mo., tweeted that it was getting reports that tornado sirens were going off in Wyandotte County, Kansas, which includes that state’s Kansas City (across the Kansas and Missouri rivers from Missouri’s city of the same name). But there was no storm, the weather service said.

A few minutes later came another tweet that the weather service had no control over local tornado sirens. “Perhaps a malfunction?” said the tweet. About 15 minutes after the first tweet came the last in the series, saying Wyandotte County officials confirmed it was an accidental alarm. With deadly twisters hitting Plains States in recent weeks, a false alarm can’t do much to calm residents’ nerves.

In Depth

— Gil Aegerter