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Discipline for Outagamie Co. officials recommended after no warning of storms

Emergency warning siren
Emergency warning siren

APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - The Outagamie County public safety committee have recommended several emergency officials be disciplined or even fired for last week’s storms that came with no warning.

Emergency Management Director Julie Loeffelholz and several other officials are on the hot seat, accused of failing to sound emergency sirens during storms on August 7.

FOX 11 obtained an Outagamie County report detailing the storm response during early morning hours of August 7.

Around 12:30 p.m. August 8th, an officer in Hortonville reported trees and power lines down, which according to policy, should have led to the county's emergency sirens to be activated.

According to the Policy for Activation of Sirens in Outagamie County, the third item on a list of procedures states: "This policy is discretionary in that, if an officer in the field witnesses a tornado and no warning from the NWS is received, and/or strong enough winds are present to create serious endangerment to the citizens of the County, again through verification from an officer in the field or a reliable weather spotter, the sirens should be activated. All sirens will be activated."

The Outagamie County Board will hold a closed door meeting Monday night at 6 p.m. to discuss personnel matters related to the report.

The powerful storms across Northwest Wisconsin knocked-out power to over 60,000 customers and is blamed for one death in Marinette County and several injuries. 

Outgamie County says damage assessments total more than $31 million to both public and private property combined.

The committee also accuses the sheriff’s department for failing to maintain the county’s main communication tower near Black Creek.

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