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Friday Night Tornado Sirens, A Judgment Call

Justin Thompson, Fulton County emergency management director, said the county tornado sirens sounded about 9:30 pm, Friday, July 23, based on the observations of a Fulton County sheriff deputy.

“Out at Co. Rd. C by the Wauseon Reservoir, one of the deputies spotted what he thought was rotation” in the clouds.

Rotation can be the sign that a funnel cloud, or possibly a tornado is forming.

But Thompson thinks a shift in the wind direction caused low-level clouds to change their shape, and appear to rotate.

Thompson said when Darrell Merillat, Fulton County sheriff, heard the deputy say he had seen rotation in the clouds, Merillat triggered the sirens.

“It was kind of a judgment call,” Thompson said.

“It was a preparedness call. I can’t fault the sheriff for doing it. The deputy thought he had seen rotation,” Thompson said.

Weather conditions Friday night were right to spawn tornados, Thompson said.

A utility pole at the reservoir complex was damaged. That was the only damage report Friday night.

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