Salem Twp. gets grant for tornado sirens, shelters

SALEM TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — An Allegan County township is boosting its emergency preparedness thanks to a big grant.

Salem Township, which is in the northern part of the county, will soon get two storm shelters and two hazard warning sirens. The township — along with the Michigan State Police Hazard Mitigation Division, Allegan County Emergency Management Division and the local region of the Federal Emergency Management Agency — was awarded $800,000 for the projects.

The shelters will be designed to withstand EF-4 tornadoes, which have winds of up to 250 mph. The shelters will be at the Sandy Pines Campground Resort, northwest of Hopkins.

One of the sirens will be at that resort, while the other will be at St. Mary’s Visitation School. They’ll have an audible range of two miles, which means they will also be heard in some parts of Dorr Township.

An EF-1 tornado cut a swath from Fennville to Hamilton on Aug. 20 — one of six tornadoes that hit several West Michigan counties that day. That tornado, however, did not hit Salem Township.