The Sioux Falls City Council should pass a Alert Siren ordinance

Last I checked the charter says the Council is the policy body of the city. In other words, it is not up to the Emergency Manager or even the Mayor to determine how that siren is used, and it is pretty obvious the administration doesn’t want to make any changes. If the city council passes a new emergency siren ordinance that dictates when it should be used, the administration and city employees must follow it.

Last night the city had a severe storm blow thru with large hail. Not only were the sirens not used (4 AM) I never received an alert on my phone and other people told me their weather radio didn’t not go off either. I thought we were told to depend on other alert systems? But they were NOT used? Why?

I think it is time for the city council to model an ordinance similar to what Pennington County does (multiple emergencies and weather events). The problem is it is hard for a bunch of sheep to cry wolf.


Of course, this should not surprise anyone. The word on the street was he was asked again to read the proclamation in person and said he has scheduling conflicts. I guess it went a step further and they asked him to video record it in advance if he couldn’t make it. Not sure what the answer was to that? Either way, it has become pretty obvious that the mayor isn’t big on the gays. But if you really feel a certain way about the lifestyle, why not just tell them that you personally do not approve and would feel uncomfortable with doing the proclamation instead of making excuses every year? Surprised he just didn’t contract it out to 211 like he did with his mentorship program.


#1 Very Stable Genius on 05.29.22 at 6:02 pm

He definitely struggled to utter the letters ‘LGBTQ’ during one of his debates with his opponents. He said them with the uneasiness of a 5th grader in a spelling bee contest trying to spell ‘vacillation’.

( and Woodstock adds: “Did you mean ‘vacation’?”…. “Because he does like to go on a lot of them, especially camping trips, when it’s PRIDE time”…. )

#2 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 05.29.22 at 6:04 pm

And the daughter said to her father: “Daddy, you should see the cool rainbow flag our camping neighbors have”…. “We should get one like that, too”….

#3 Dr. Derecho & Mr. Haboob on 05.29.22 at 6:11 pm

We should have a multi siren system in our town. One could be for tornadoes, another for derechos, a third for haboobs, a fourth for Putin’s missiles, a fifth for when TIF applications are submitted, and a sixth if the Chick-fil-A drive-thru lane is down to five or less cars…. And when the 41st Street bridge over I-29 is finally completed they should sound them all off at the same time just for fun.

#4 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 05.29.22 at 6:14 pm

But if they blow all of these suggested sirens at once, then I won’t know if I should go for a ride or just kiss my ass good-bye.

#5 "Woodstock" on 05.29.22 at 6:17 pm

“They should have a special siren just to inform us the next time the school board plans to hold another election”…. (… “But like the current siren, it would probably never be used” …. 🙁 )

#6 Come On on 05.29.22 at 7:24 pm

My weather radio went off multiple times last night, including several minutes before the hail hit around 4am.

#7 l3wis on 05.30.22 at 8:24 am

Good to hear, but I never got a phone alert. I did get 2 last night and I heard this mysterious whistling sound but I just assumed it was a false alarm 🙁

#8 scott on 05.30.22 at 8:57 am

we live a block from a siren, and was surprised it went off. i thought the siren was only for people outside. who is outside at 2am? as an aside, when the wind storm went through, i got a warning on my phone. nothing the last two nights. is that on verizon or the nws?

#9 l3wis on 05.30.22 at 9:04 am

Last night before they turned on the siren I’m sure the conversation to decide to push it went like this;

#10 LJL on 05.30.22 at 9:19 am

You seriously think the city is in charge of when to use the tornado siren? They don’t, you dolt.

The weather service send the alarms, the local governments decide when to test the alarms. So there was no”decision to push it” last night. Any other times of use would be an override by a local government.

Would you also use them for blizzards, to worn you of possibly slippy and falling on your fat ass?

Of course you won’t post this because that would be pointing out how silly you really are.

#11 l3wis on 05.30.22 at 9:34 am

First off, my post is about setting a policy about when the sirens should be used, not having that control in the hands of the council. Duh.

Secondly while you are correct the siren is activated in SF when the NWS has a tornado warning, someone still has to flip that switch;

10. Who activates the outdoor warning sirens?
Sirens are typically activated by city or county officials, usually a police or fire department or emergency management personnel. Check with your city or county officials to learn more.

I highly doubt the switch automatically goes off when the NWS issues a warning, how do I know that? Because when we had multiple tornadoes a few years ago it wasn’t used. That is human error.

The only ‘silly’ thing about this is claiming people would become complacent if it is used for other emergencies. If that was the case, why do people continue to stop for trains or pull to the side when a fire truck comes by?

#12 l3wis on 05.30.22 at 9:36 am

Further more I think we have become complacent as a society holding our elected officials accountable when they are to stupid to know when to use an emergency siren.

#13 Very Stable Genius on 05.30.22 at 10:38 am

I forgot that the sirens are only for people outside at 2AM…. What the ……

The bottom line is this folks, our current local political leadership is not prepared to handle climate change, rather they are just spokesmen(women) for the developers. So, we are all on our own just like in a storm with no sirens. But at least they blew last night, which is like a student finally studying for the final when they got a “F” on the mid-term.

#14 The Guy From Guernsey on 05.30.22 at 1:03 pm

“… why not just tell them that you personally do not approve …”

This is not about leading a city. This is about retaining viability for a political career.

Being Mayor of Sioux Falls for second term is just an inconvenience predicated by the the fact that the senior Senator from South Dskota chose to seek re-election rather than stepping aside to allow PTH to become Minnesota’s third Democratic Senator. (I’m guessing Dusty Johnson would rather that PTH be considered as the fifth (or sixth?) Democrat U.S. Representative from Minnesota. Perhaps PTH could represent that group of counties which MN State Representative Jeremy Munson wanted to be allowed to secede from Minnesota?)

It would be foolish for PTH to commit to a position RE: LGBTQ+!

The political establishment of Sioux Falls and Minnehaha County is as close to Blue as one can get without officially placing “-D” behind their names on the ballot. Fred Deutsch (thankfully) does live in Sioux Falls and no other part of the local republican apparatus is going to press PTH to a “Fred Deutsch, troglodyte wing of the party” position on the issue.

The young libs about town love the guy. Much related to physical properties of stature and cosmetics to which VSG has often referenced. But empathy is a factor, too. “So many difficult challenges have been thrown at him.”

While most in this young lib set have very progressive ideologies, including being accepting and inclusive of those from different arrays of gender identities, they don’t view PTH as a troglodyte conservative, nor even as [gasp] a republican.

PTH is not viewed as an elderly, white male religous zealot [bigot?] republican. Political viability maintained with three of these attributes (white male, registered as republican), but hiding a fourth (hint: it is not anti-aging cream).

He could literally return to Minnesota to become “U.S. Senator Paul TenHaken-D, Minnesota”.

#15 Steve on 05.30.22 at 10:10 pm

“To stupid”. Oh, the sweet smell of irony.

#16 Mike Lee Zitterich on 05.31.22 at 2:34 am

The Sirens did go off early Sunday morning between 2 AM and 4 AM. I know cause I was relaxing on the porch watching the storm roll into town. I love sitting outside on the porch as the rains come. I also love camping in a tent thru these storms so the storm itself does NOT bother me, and I do not feel there is NO reason to blow sirens for simply a Severe Thunderstorm, even where they usher in strong winds. The winds tend to only be at the front end of the storm, mostly the cold front while the real storm is behind it. Again, if the city was to blow the sirens everytime, they would lose their meaning. And for people like myself, I can tell whether or not danger is upon us. But then again, I am one who camps in this kind of storm in a “Tent” of all places.

#17 l3wis on 05.31.22 at 8:17 am

“Again, if the city was to blow the sirens everytime, they would lose their meaning.”

That is complete BS! As I have mentioned, if this were true people wouldn’t stop for trains anymore or pull over for firetrucks and police sirens. It’s a warning, that is what it is designed for, TO WARN PEOPLE. To think someone will become complacent is one of the dumbest arguments I have ever heard.

#18 Mike Lee Zitterich on 05.31.22 at 11:21 am

I am 50 years old. I been theu so many storms, I doubt we need any sirens going off. Again, thunderstorms are do common they are like night and day. Even with winds of 40-60 mph, there is no reason to blow the horns. Your example of a train horn is not rge same, hear a train, see a train, stop for train. The sirens went off at 3 am chase there was a tornado close by, it hit Huset Speedway. They should not go off for severe thunderstorms. I watched the storm foe 2 hours , and there was no looming danger other than winds. It was kind of awesome to watch the storm.

#19 VSG on 05.31.22 at 12:59 pm

This frequency of sirens, which apparently some fear, is actually climate change. We used to have events like this every 15 to 20 years, but now its about every two years and it’s only going to get worse. If people don’t want to heed a siren, that’s fine, but many of us will. AND if they are truly worried about people hearing too many sirens as if its like crying wolf, then let those people have that attitude, because it is then quite obvious that with or without a siren, or warning, they’re already allowing themselves to be screwed…. So let them be screwed… Because I want my sirens, and more often….

( and Woodstock adds: “I say let them eat cake and then let them kiss their asses good-bye”…. )

#20 l3wis on 05.31.22 at 2:55 pm

Well Mike I am 49 and grew up on a Farm, I have seen my fair share of T-Storms, Floods and Blizzards.

An arborist recently told me that many trees were weakened by drought, which caused roots to die back. This is why they are tipping over so easily.

#21 TP on 05.31.22 at 3:39 pm

If the winds were strong enough to kill 2 people, the sirens should have sounded. It shouldn’t matter if they’re straight line winds or rotating winds.

In the private sector when you have people who make bad decisions, you get new decision makers.

The city wants to argue why their policy is right instead of adapting the policy to what would protect more people or change to meet what people want.

I’m not surprised in the least.

#22 l3wis on 05.31.22 at 4:01 pm

Ironically the Emergency Manager should have been replaced years ago, instead they have bounced him around to different departments so he could continue to get step raises instead of just a COLA after hitting the top of that ladder. It also baffles me why a public servant wouldn’t be arguing on how to keep more people safe instead of defending their incompetence.

#23 Mike Lee Zitterich on 05.31.22 at 5:08 pm

Truth is, I just do not think its a big deal, would not lose sleep over it. “WE” cannot play God. and Nature is Nature. We cant keep trees from falling down in winds. We are are part of nature, we will die one day, only God knows when.

#24 Big Mike on 05.31.22 at 6:51 pm

Just wondering what the next big outrageous thing the current administration is not doing. Sitting on pins and needles waiting,

#25 l3wis on 05.31.22 at 11:54 pm

‘not doing’ seems to be what they do best 🙂

#26 anominous on 06.02.22 at 7:25 pm

u dont need smoke detectors in bldgs either i can tell when danger is upon us should i choose to leave is my own choice maybe u should privatize those sirens since oh hell