(Connie Jo Discoe/Regional Editor) [Order this photo]
Red Willow County Sheriff Gene Mahon said this morning that he ordered that the sirens be sounded because the National Weather Service in Goodland, Kansas, issued a tornado warning for McCook.
The sirens will not always mean that a tornado has definitely been spotted, the sheriff said, but that the city has been placed in a tornado warning area and that residents need to go to their basements.
(Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette)
However, the sheriff added, if a spotter or one of his officers reports a tornado prior to or without a warning from Goodland, the sirens will sound. "If a tornado's been spotted, I won't wait for Goodland," Mahon said.
Mahon said he often repeats the siren hoping that more residents will hear them. "If people are inside, they may not always hear the sirens," Mahon said. He hopes by repeating the sirens, more people will hear them and know to take appropriate shelter.
Mahon said that no one reported a tornado Monday evening, although extremely heavy rains in some parts of the county could have obscured a funnel in the air or a tornado on the ground.
"With all the rain, we wouldn't have seen a tornado," Mahon said.
The sheriff said his officers were watching several cloud formations and storm cells. "The storms were switching around so bad," Mahon said. He watched one storm coming from the east and another moving in from the west converge in the Indianola and Bartley areas, and the two communities received "massive amounts of rain. Indianola and Bartley were practically flooded," he said.