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Oyster Creek Tests Sirens – Did Anyone Hear It?

On Thursday, the owners of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant in Lacey Township tested their new state-of-the-art sirens, complete with a battery backup system.

Oyster Creek sirens
Oyster Creek sirens (Jason Allentoff, Townsquare Media NJ)

The alarm was sounded for a full three minutes at two points during the day – 9:30 a.m. and then again at 2:30 p.m. After finishing my anchor shift, I was sent out into the field to get some reaction – did anyone hear it? Did anyone have a clue what the noise was? Some of the answers may surprise you.

The new 42 sirens are placed strategically in and around the ten mile radius of the generating station, so the chances are very good that people would be able to hear it.

Starting when the first siren went off, I was stationed outside the Shop-Rite in Bayville. There’s actually a siren that sits just off to the side at the entrance to Ocean Gate. Would you believe during the buzzing, there were a handful of people who didn’t hear it?

One man told me “I didn’t notice. What is that thing? A weather alert?”

A woman said “oh I thought it was just a local fire company heading out to battle a blaze.”

Then there were the others who heard the buzzing and had no idea why it was going off. One person, who saw my press badge, asked if I was trying to round people up for an evacuation.

Listen to Jason’s conversations with residents about the Oyster Creek sirens

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New Oyster Creek siren (L) next to an old one
New Oyster Creek siren (L) next to an old one (Jason Allentoff, Townsquare Media NJ)

There were a handful of people who knew what the siren was for and exactly what to do in the event of an emergency.

I then traveled around Route 9 after the siren had ended – asking people if they heard it. I would say more than half heard it – with several others claiming to never have received notification. One man who wouldn’t let me record him claims he never received a booklet from Exelon about emergency plans, even though he lives in Lacey.

In the event of an actual emergency, be sure to tune your radio to WOBM for the latest emergency information. The TV is also a place to get info too if something happens.

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