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Tuba
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Discoveries in Charleston, WV

Wed May 22, 2019 7:52 pm

Now, when you think of “siren states”, I’d bet a fair amount of money West Virginia isn’t the first state on you mind. WV is a beautiful state and believe it or not, has sirens. Charleston, the state capital and largest city, has a system. The little information on the board I was able to find confirmed Mods, 2001s, and a DSA. That was about all. West Virginia being my favorite state, I took on the task of finding more about the system. Not going to lie, I am surprised. West Virginia averages 2.4 tornadoes a year, yet Charleston has a full fledged siren system that warns of tornadoes. However, the sirens do sound for HAZMAT emergencies, but Im not sure how common these are. The bottom line is, Im surprised they have so many sirens. In Kanawha and Putnam counties, there are 55 total sirens. Those sirens are a majority of MOD IIs and 2001s. However, in the past few days, I found some interesting stuff. Lets begin.

QUICK FACTS: Kanawha/Putnam county siren system
-55 sirens
-22 MOD IIs installed in 2013
-Tested the 4th Monday of every month @noon
-Operated by Kanawha Putnam emergency planning committee

NON 2001/MOD SIRENS IN AREA (the discoveries)

A 3T22 on top of the Charleston housing authority. This siren did bot activate for their 2019 SWA (Reported on by local news), but Im hopeful and have a hunch it’s active

A single celled Whelen Omni next to (and operated by) Yeager airport that warns of landslides, installed in 2015 after a local landslide. It is automatically activated once a stream gauge reaches a flooding point in which the mountain side could come falling. The siren is described as “high-pitched”, which is odd because whelens are lower pitched than mods and 2001s, unless it has a different control box than whelen. That’s just speculation though. That siren is tested at the 1st Monday of the month @noon.

A Model 5 in Alloy, WV. Credit to 4J25 for discovering it. It’s near a factory so it could be tied to the factory but the siren map on the website shows a siren near the location

An inactive thunderbolt in Marmet. A 2001 stands right next to it.

In Chesapeake, there is a Sterling M, also standing next to a 2001. Thanks to 4J25 for discovering that as well.

2 Thunderbeams located at DuPont middle school and Midland Trail elementary (Thank you to Adam Pollak)

Im still working to verify roundback 2001s. This summer I will hopefully make a map of the system. I will also be updating this post in the near future. Hope this was somewhat interesting!
(I wonder if Charleston once had a system comprised of older Federal Sirens...)

Note: I am on mobile, so if I could have mercy for any typos, that’d be great😅
Last edited by Tuba on Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:10 am, edited 3 times in total.
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archizackture
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Re: Discoveries in Charleston, WV

Thu May 23, 2019 12:42 am

Hey there! I'm also a West Virginian! Nice post!

Growing up around so many volunteer fire departments with their house sirens, I've always associated sirens with rural life. I grew up exactly three miles away (as the crow flies) from a Sentry 10V that I could hear in the distance. I can hear a Model 5 from my college, Shepherd University. My cousin lives near the modified STH-10 in Slanesville that I've posted about, and the very obscure XT22 in Levels, WV that I'm pretty sure was unknown to the Internet until I posted it on my in-progress West Virginia Siren Map (linked below). I'll have to get cracking on adding more of the sirens around Charleston! (I do have the Marmet Thunderbolt though. There's also a Thunderbolt in Clarksburg.)

I estimate that every county in West Virginia has at least 3 active sirens (except Tucker, Pendleton and Pocahontas, due to being at the GW National Forest). There's 3 active here in Morgan County - the 10V I talk about incessantly, the Sterling M-10 in downtown Berkeley Springs, and the Model 5 in Paw Paw. There was a Model 5 and a backup Darley 3V8 in Great Cacapon but they fell through the roof when the station burned down in 2016. Hampshire County has either 7 or 8, depending whether there's still an Eclipse 8 in Romney.
Architecture preservationist. I enjoy obscure history and mapping things, and grew up around sirens. Not planning to own one.
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Re: Discoveries in Charleston, WV

Thu May 23, 2019 12:56 am

Thanks for reading! I too have been looking through your posts while combing the board for Charleston-related posts while working on this project. Im the exact opposite on your perspective on sirens. Sirens to me have always been a system thing. Hate to break it to you, but WV is actually my second favorite state. I was born and still live in Columbus, OH. West Virginia is such a beautiful place, and I love going. I have some resources on locations on Kanawha/Putnam sirens that I can PM you if you’d like!
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Re: Discoveries in Charleston, WV

Thu May 23, 2019 1:04 am

Tuba wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 12:56 am
Thanks for reading! I too have been looking through your posts while combing the board for Charleston-related posts while working on this project. Im the exact opposite on your perspective on sirens. Sirens to me have always been a system thing. Hate to break it to you, but WV is actually my second favorite state. I was born and still live in Columbus, OH. West Virginia is such a beautiful place, and I love going. I have some resources on locations on Kanawha/Putnam sirens that I can PM you if you’d like!
I would love to have some locations, thanks!

And don't worry about it, if I were a millionaire I would move to Cape Cod or Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, haha. The only place in WV where I would want to live by choice would be the far-eastern panhandle area which is basically Virginia and Maryland anyway.
Architecture preservationist. I enjoy obscure history and mapping things, and grew up around sirens. Not planning to own one.
West Virginia State-wide & Western Maryland Siren Map

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Re: Discoveries in Charleston, WV

Fri May 24, 2019 12:16 pm

archizackture wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 12:42 am
Hey there! I'm also a West Virginian! Nice post!

Growing up around so many volunteer fire departments with their house sirens, I've always associated sirens with rural life. I grew up exactly three miles away (as the crow flies) from a Sentry 10V that I could hear in the distance. I can hear a Model 5 from my college, Shepherd University. My cousin lives near the modified STH-10 in Slanesville that I've posted about, and the very obscure XT22 in Levels, WV that I'm pretty sure was unknown to the Internet until I posted it on my in-progress West Virginia Siren Map (linked below). I'll have to get cracking on adding more of the sirens around Charleston! (I do have the Marmet Thunderbolt though. There's also a Thunderbolt in Clarksburg.)

I estimate that every county in West Virginia has at least 3 active sirens (except Tucker, Pendleton and Pocahontas, due to being at the GW National Forest). There's 3 active here in Morgan County - the 10V I talk about incessantly, the Sterling M-10 in downtown Berkeley Springs, and the Model 5 in Paw Paw. There was a Model 5 and a backup Darley 3V8 in Great Cacapon but they fell through the roof when the station burned down in 2016. Hampshire County has either 7 or 8, depending whether there's still an Eclipse 8 in Romney.
Sometime I'd love it if you could get a video of the STH in Slanesville going off. My uncle has a place several miles up the road from there, and he has another place near the XT22 in Levels. I knew about that siren too from going to his other place, but I would imagine I was one of the few others as there is no streetview there. The Eclipse in Romney is still there last I knew, although it may have been moved due to complaints. Hampshire is a pretty county and it's been too long since I've been there. One of these days I need to get back! Your map is looking great BTW.

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Re: Discoveries in Charleston, WV

Fri May 24, 2019 2:54 pm

Allenorgan42099 wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 12:16 pm
archizackture wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 12:42 am
Hey there! I'm also a West Virginian! Nice post!

Growing up around so many volunteer fire departments with their house sirens, I've always associated sirens with rural life. I grew up exactly three miles away (as the crow flies) from a Sentry 10V that I could hear in the distance. I can hear a Model 5 from my college, Shepherd University. My cousin lives near the modified STH-10 in Slanesville that I've posted about, and the very obscure XT22 in Levels, WV that I'm pretty sure was unknown to the Internet until I posted it on my in-progress West Virginia Siren Map (linked below). I'll have to get cracking on adding more of the sirens around Charleston! (I do have the Marmet Thunderbolt though. There's also a Thunderbolt in Clarksburg.)

I estimate that every county in West Virginia has at least 3 active sirens (except Tucker, Pendleton and Pocahontas, due to being at the GW National Forest). There's 3 active here in Morgan County - the 10V I talk about incessantly, the Sterling M-10 in downtown Berkeley Springs, and the Model 5 in Paw Paw. There was a Model 5 and a backup Darley 3V8 in Great Cacapon but they fell through the roof when the station burned down in 2016. Hampshire County has either 7 or 8, depending whether there's still an Eclipse 8 in Romney.
Sometime I'd love it if you could get a video of the STH in Slanesville going off. My uncle has a place several miles up the road from there, and he has another place near the XT22 in Levels. I knew about that siren too from going to his other place, but I would imagine I was one of the few others as there is no streetview there. The Eclipse in Romney is still there last I knew, although it may have been moved due to complaints. Hampshire is a pretty county and it's been too long since I've been there. One of these days I need to get back! Your map is looking great BTW.
Thanks! Mapping has always been a passion of mine. In high school I did a volunteer project to get accurate data about Morgan and Hampshire Counties' roads onto Google Maps, since before they were relying on pre- 9/11 data where most of the roads had no formal names, some were mislabeled or misspelled, etc. I worked with the Morgan County Chamber of Commerce to get 911 address data (which wasn't publicly available then) and relay that to GM.

The only reason I know about the one in Levels is because my grandmother (who lives in Paw Paw) took me there on a fun scenic drive once. I've still only been there once.
As for recording the Slanesville siren, or any area sirens for that matter, I have no idea if there's a reliable date when they're tested, and I can't find any information about such a testing date. I would have to contact a local dispatcher. I wouldn't want to camp out there and wait because some of the sirens go off a bit rarely; the Sentry 10V in South Morgan goes off once, maybe twice a week, and there's been weeks it doesn't go off at all. But I'm always on the lookout for more information about testing etc.
Architecture preservationist. I enjoy obscure history and mapping things, and grew up around sirens. Not planning to own one.
West Virginia State-wide & Western Maryland Siren Map

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Re: Discoveries in Charleston, WV

Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:09 am

Dupont Middle School Thunderbeam
DSC00565 Small.jpg
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Proud owner of: Thunderbolt 1003, Thunderbolt 1000, STH-10A, Model 5BT, Model 5B, Model 3B, Model 2T (noon daily @ 1/2 voltage), Model 2, Decot, Sterling Little Giant

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Re: Discoveries in Charleston, WV

Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:10 am

Midland Trail Elementary Thunderbeam
DSC00556 Small.jpg
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Proud owner of: Thunderbolt 1003, Thunderbolt 1000, STH-10A, Model 5BT, Model 5B, Model 3B, Model 2T (noon daily @ 1/2 voltage), Model 2, Decot, Sterling Little Giant

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Re: Discoveries in Charleston, WV

Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:06 am

Adam Pollak wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:10 am
Midland Trail Elementary Thunderbeam
DSC00556 Small.jpg
2!! Very cool, Thanks for the image. I really love those mountains!
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Re: Discoveries in Charleston, WV

Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:52 am

That's awesome, Adam! Thanks! The only Thunderbeam I knew about before was the one in Marlinton.
Architecture preservationist. I enjoy obscure history and mapping things, and grew up around sirens. Not planning to own one.
West Virginia State-wide & Western Maryland Siren Map

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