Victoria installs sirens

Published 8:40 am Thursday, April 14, 2016

Southside Electric Cooperative crews helped with the installation of new tornado sirens around Victoria.

The work was done on Wednesday, April 6.

Victoria Town Manager Rodney Newton had said previously the town would be installing the emergency sirens at some point this year, but noted that Southside Electric Cooperative’s help meant they were able to be installed sooner rather than later.

The newest sirens are located at the Victoria Water Filtration Plant, the Victoria Wastewater Treatment Facility, the Marshall Pump Station location and the West Lagoon area.

Allan A. Sharrett, vice president of public and member relations for the cooperative, said they get a number of requests and try not to say no.

“It’s part of a broader initiative,” he said. “We’ve been trying to do more community outreach.”

The community projects the cooperative has helped with include: installing the scoreboard at Lunenburg’s Central High School, hanging nets and field bulb replacement at Dinwiddie recreational league ball fields, scoreboard funding and installation at Gretna High School ball fields and light pole replacement at Crewe-Burkeville’s recreational league ball fields.

Newton said the installation of the sirens offers an additional level of protection for

Victoria residents.

In late February, tornadoes hit Southside, causing heavy damage and deaths.

Newton, who is also the chief of the Victoria Fire and Rescue Department and administrator of the Kenbridge Rescue Squad, noted that tornadoes can come at any time.

“The warning sirens will give citizens an opportunity to seek proper shelter and be more prepared prior to the possible touchdown of a tornado in the area,” he said.

County residents are also encouraged to sign up for CODE RED warnings. These warnings are specific to areas throughout the county and offer alerts to the parts of Lunenburg that are affected.

“While Richmond area news stations will often times just indicate that the entire county is under a warning, the CODE RED alerts (specifically) the people living in the areas that will be affected and call them,” Newton said.

Those interested in signing up for these weather and emergency warnings should go to the Lunenburg County website (

Meanwhile, officials warned that, should there be a tornado the safest place typically is the building’s basement away from windows.  If there is not a basement, occupants should go to a windowless interior room such as a closet, bathroom or interior hall on the lowest level of the building.

People in office-type settings should use stairs to reach the lowest level of a building; avoid using elevators. Once you reach safe areas, crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down and cover their heads with their hands, they said.