Peabody residents who had been listening to the police scanner earlier this month might have been concerned when someone said over the airways the tornado sirens were malfunctioning.
However, even though the telephone line to the siren was somehow disconnected from the pole and laying in a mess for months or possibly years, the sirens were still able to be activated in an emergency, Police Chief Bruce Burke said.
Burke said the sirens have always been operational by typing in a code manually at the fire station. On nights when storms were expected, Burke said he would find a volunteer to stay at the fire station in case the sirens needed set off.
Earlier this month, Peabody City Council member Janice Woodruff asked what an $85 per month bill to AT&T was for despite the line item being listed as monthly siren phone bill.
Council member Travis Wilson said the number was to set off the emergency siren and would allow Burke to dial a number for anywhere and set off the sirens. It was revealed at that meeting that the phone line had been disconnected from the siren for several months and possibly more than a year and was never repaired, despite several council members and city employees knowing the line was severed.
“We don’t know how it was severed,” Mayor Larry Larsen said.
AT&T fixed the line last week.