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As winter ends, sounds of spring begin

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government River Falls,Wisconsin 54022
River Falls Journal
715-425-5666 customer support
As winter ends, sounds of spring begin
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Winter has its share of nasty storms, but the ones in spring and summer are preceded by the city's warning sirens.

Those sirens must be tested regularly, so get ready.


River Falls's audible testing of the outdoor warning siren system has the following schedule. If there's severe or threatening weather at scheduled test times, there are makeup dates that come next day:

  • 1 p.m. Monday, March 25; makeup: 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 26
  • 1:45 p.m. Thursday, April 18; makeup: 1:45 p.m. Friday, April 19
  • 1 p.m. Monday, May 20; makeup: 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 21
  • 1 p.m. Monday, June 24; makeup: 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 25
  • 1 p.m. Monday, July 22; makeup: 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 23
  • 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26; makeup: 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27
  • 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23; makeup: 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24

Residents are reminded that when sirens go off for approaching bad storms, the city doesn't sound an "all clear" siren as the inclement weather passes.

There are seven strategically placed siren sites plus one downtown at the fire hall hooked to the city's network and activated together. Sirens blare for about three minutes.

According to Police Chief Roger Leque, on-duty officers decide on activating the sirens based on the following criteria:

  • Weather conditions show an immediate danger of tornado or severe thunderstorm
  • If the weather service makes such an announcement and conditions are threatening locally
  • When area law-enforcement advises of approaching severe weather through sightings
  • If stormy conditions exist and there are public sightings of tornado clouds or high winds reported locally.

Residents are encouraged to have safe practices at home to prepare for storms.

For questions, call the River Falls Police Department at 715-425-0909.

Helpful tips can also be found at the National Weather Service website at or the Wisconsin Emergency Management website at

Phil Pfuehler
Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
(715) 426-1050