PINER, Ky. - When the wind began to blow in Southern Kenton County on March 2nd, the tornado warning siren at Piner Elementary School sprang into action, sending its tone over hills and valleys.
Doug Imhoff didn't hear the warning because the sound of the wind was too strong at his home on the corner of Kentucky Route 17 and Paxton Road.
"I didn't hear a thing," he said. "I got home about 15 to 20 minutes before the storm hit.
He relied on electronic media for the alert that send him to the basement as a tornado roared through the neighborhood and destroyed his house.
On Wednesday, the Imhoff property showed new signs of life. A mobile home gives him shelter and a chance to watch over the property. Debris from the house will be burned and hauled away. A new house will soon be constructed.
And, if future severe storms head toward Piner, he'll know that the sound of a siren means a tornado has actually been spotted and a tornado warning has been issued by the National Weather Service.
That new policy was announced Wednesday in Cincinnati by Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Directors from 12 Southwestern Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana counties.
In the past, many of the counties had a variety of protocols that often produced confusion among citizens. The EMA directors believe the change will alleviate that problem.
Imhoff hopes that is true.
"I think it would be a good system if they were more widespread as far as more locations with the sirens and things of that nature," he said. "The sirens for us are about a mile-and-a-half down the road, I believe, but obviously you can never have too many."
A few miles away on Carlisle Road, John Hudson and his wife continued to clean up what's left of their manufactured home.
The entire rear wall was torn away. The roof is gone. What remains will be torn apart and taken to a dump. A new home has been ordered.
Hudson didn't hear the sirens on March 2nd because the wind was blowing from West to East, taking with it the warning sound. Like Imhoff, Hudson likes the new policy.
"I think it's a good idea and it will let everyone know for miles around that there is a potential tornado in the area or on the ground some place," he said, adding he feels it definitely will eliminate confusion.
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