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A NOAA report says the storm sirens sounded before the Joplin tornado, but people didn't respond to them. Image by KTTS News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The federal agency that oversees the National Weather Service says warning sirens and notifications went out well ahead of the devastating Joplin tornado.
But it says residents didn't respond quickly enough to the sirens warning of the impending twister.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says in its report about communications before and during the May 22 tornado that killed 162 people that the National Weather Service was well-prepared and "performed in an exemplary manner."
The report also said combined efforts from the weather service, emergency management and the public "saved many lives."
But the report said "the vast majority of Joplin residents" didn't respond to the first siren because of an apparent widespread disregard for tornado sirens.
Click here to hear exerpts of an interview with Richard Wagenmaker. He's the service assessment team leader and meteorologist-in-charge of the Detroit Weather Forecast Office.
Click here to read the assessment report.
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