TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The City of Tyler is explaining why residents didn’t hear an outdoor siren when a tornado warning was issued in the area Tuesday night.

The outdoor warning system seemingly failed to sound during 100 mph straight line winds that tore through Tyler and wreaked havoc on the city’s historic Azalea District.

Officials say there was a “configuration problem” that caused the sirens to not sound.

The warning system contains two layers of audio: the siren itself and the voiceover advising people to seek shelter. Authorities said when city staff went to activate the alarm, only the voiceover played. Authorities reportedly tried setting off the alarm a second time with no success.

Andy Erbaugh with the Tyler Police Department said that the siren is meant to draw your attention because the voiceover is too quiet to hear on its own.

“We started getting messages and calls at that time from officers on the street that they weren’t going off correctly, or that they weren’t going off, or that they didn’t hear them because the voice is not as loud as the tone,” Erbaugh explained.

The outdoor warning system did work properly two weeks ago during severe weather and during a test last week, which has left many scratching their heads wondering what changed.

Federal Signal Safety and Security Systems, the company that owns the software used to operate the sirens, looked into the cause of the programming issue. Officials say it has been fixed.

Adriana Rodriguez with the city of Tyler gave a reminder that outdoor warning sirens are not meant to be heard inside of your house. For the latest city-wide alerts, you can sign up for Tyler Smart 911.

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