Weather alerts issued despite no Bartholomew tornado warning

Bartholomew County emergency officials are investigating why some residents received automated alerts of a tornado warning Saturday afternoon, despite no tornado warning ever being declared for the county.

Some residents have said they were concerned about the lack of warning for the high winds and tornados that swept through the area Saturday afternoon. But Bartholomew County only sounds its tornado sirens if the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning, or if a tornado is spotted in the county. Neither happened on Saturday.

However, some residents received a tornado warning alert through the Everbridge alert system, the county’s automated system that sends out phone calls, text messages and email warnings. Shannan Cooke, head of the Bartholomew County Emergency Management Department, said that she had checked with the National Weather Service. While a tornado warning was issued for Shelby and Rush counties Saturday afternoon, there was no tornado warning for Bartholomew. And no part of the polygon drawn by weather forecasters overlapped into Bartholomew County, she was assured, which could have triggered the automated alerts.

Cooke said the next step is to contact the Everbridge operators and find out why some Bartholomew residents were sent the alerts.

Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.