Testing the sirens in Manitou

Testing the sirens in Manitou

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo - Warning sirens blared in Manitou Springs today, but there was no emergency.

The city was testing its sirens to make sure that they will be able to keep tourists and residents safe this summer.

Among those tourist families are the Halls, who are from Covington, Louisiana.  Today, they were enjoying a peaceful day by wading in Fountain Creek.

Sallie Hall said, "we're renting a house just up the street."

Playing in the creek was a nice way to cool off on a hot day.  But while it was tranquil Monday, it was more like a raging torrent a year ago.

The flooding that occurred here drew national attention.

Jeanine Wicke is originally from New York City.  While she lives in Colorado Springs now, she says that people there heard about what happened here.

With thousands of tourists invading the city every summer and leaving behind millions of dollars, the city has taken steps to keep tourists and residents alike safe.

The sirens were tested today and many of the tourists heard them very well.

Sallie Hall said, "we were right there in the park."

But not all of them.  Some people inside businesses were not able to hear the alert.

"We were at the brewing company," said Wicke.

Most of the tourists live in places that have warning systems in place already.

Chloe Floyd is a visitor from Watertown, New York.  She said, "the only warnings or sirens that we have in Watertown is for snow."

Sirens are fairly frequent around the nation and while the sirens in Manitou may not warn of blizzards they do work for both flash floods and tornadoes.

The goal is to keep the people who walk the sidewalks in Manitou safe no matter where they're from.  Wicke says that she knows what she would do if there was more flooding.

"I would evacuate.  I would get on Highway 24 and go east," she said.

Combined with that knowledge, the beacons of safety can help keep people safe when the dark clouds gather again.

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