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Siren upgrades begin at Catawba Nuclear

Residents within earshot of emergency alert sirens should hear them in the next four months.

Catawba Nuclear Station is upgrading all 89 of its sirens.

“What we’re really upgrading is the power supply, so it’s more reliable,” said spokesman Scott Andresen.

Crews were working on the first siren Jan. 21 off Sandlapper Drive, within a mile of the station.

“The test was successful,” he said. “The siren did go off as planned.”

Andresen said seeing crews working on sirens will be common as upgrades continue.

While scheduled tests include all sirens and last about three minutes, the upgrade growl tests will last about 30 seconds. They will be done one siren at a time, with crews checking the upgrade work. Sirens will not reach full volume during these tests.

“It’ll be 89 tests, but not all at one time,” Andresen said.

These siren tests are different from the full-volume siren tests performed once each quarter in cooperation with emergency officials in York, Gaston and Mecklenburg counties. These tests are scheduled April 8, July 8 and Oct. 14.

Catawba Nuclear has six sirens in Lake Wylie, and sirens in Clover, York, Fort Mill, Tega Cay and Charlotte.

Anyone hearing a siren who is unsure if it is a test or an emergency should call 803-701-3600.