15 1 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

The week's stormy weather has given some East Tennessee communities the chance to put to use some new life-saving technology.

The towns of Madisonville, Tellico Plains, Vonore and Sweetwater are just a few of the East Tennessee communities that have installed new tornado sirens within the last year. The devices were donated to the towns by TVA.

In Sweetwater, residents heard the sirens for the first time Monday when severe weather rolled into the area.

Many people said they were happy to have them. Locals vividly remember the tornado that struck the nearby town of Tellico Plains in 2012.

"I am really glad we had it, because we were just sitting there [waiting on the storm," said Sweetwater resident AJ Paris.

In the past, Sweetwater had only one working siren in town. But now it has four, ever since three new ones were installed a year ago. As a result, more people can get severe weather alerts in advance.

"We think that at least 80% of the people in corporate city limits probably heard the sirens go off [Monday]," said Sweetwater mayor Doyle Lowe.

Fire Chief Doug Watson says it's nice to have the equipment around too. He believes it can save a lot of lives.

"If the general public knows that there's a warning out there, and we let them know through our sirens, it can be very effective," Watson said.

TVA donated 27 sirens in all to communities across the Tennessee Valley.

15 1 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://on.wbir.com/1jfNBCa