Sirens in place in case of an emergency at the Umatilla Chemical Depot sounded without a hitch Tuesday afternoon during the monthly test.

As expected, seven sirens didn't go off. That's because they are in the process of being relocated to provide better coverage to areas that have had dramatic population growth.

Tom Worden, the public information coordinator for the Office of Emergency Management in Pendleton, said that because the sirens don't have electricity to them yet, they weren't activated for the test.

Included in that group are sirens on Highway 395 in Stanfield, on Gravel Pit Lane and West Canal Drive in Morrow County, at the intersection of Radar Road and Agnew Road between I-82 and Powerline Road and on Powerline Road near Radar Road.

In addition, seven new sirens are being installed to meet the needs of a growing population within the Immediate Response Zone, which is the area closest to were the chemical incineration complex is being built on the Umatilla Chemical Depot just west of Hermiston.

All of the sirens should be in place and functional by the end of summer, Worden said.

Currently, 35 sirens have been placed in the two counties. Seven more operate at the depot, which stores 3,717 tons of chemical weapons.

The noon test featured a minute-long steady tone. During an actual emergency, the sirens would send a repeating "whoop-whoop" sound for three minutes.

Cheryl Humphrey, spokeswoman for the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program, said that she received one call about Tuesday's test, but the caller only asked whether the tone alert radios were supposed to go off when the outside warning system went off.

"We've been getting more and more informational calls like that," she said. "And that's good."

OEM recommends that people practice tuning to local radio stations during the test; in an actual event, the radio stations will receive instructions from emergency officials.

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