A reader asks: “Any idea what the loud sirens are that I’ve been hearing tonight in Union Hill?”
I heard them too and don’t know the reason, but I often check the City of Richmond “traffic and hazard” real time feed when I hear something – http://eservices.ci.richmond.va.us/applications/publicsafety/traffic/TrafficPage.aspx
I’m pretty sure those were the VCU/MCV alert system sirens that were installed after the VT shootings. They test them every so often. Although, if that was a test last night, it was terribly inconvenient timing.
I’ve checked the MCV/VCU site to no avail.
They sounded like air raid sirens….. Really weird! I kept looking at the sky expecting to see the bombers coming in. I’ve lived here for 30+ years and never heard anything like that. What the heck were they?
It wasn’t VCU. They send out both email and text messages to students/faculty/staff whenever they trigger the alert system and there was no sign of anything last night (or this morning). From our house, it actually sounded as if it were coming from north of the city.
We could clearly hear it up at Broad and Chimborazo (inside the house). Checked the crime/traffic report info and didn’t see anything. I’ll just assume the zombie invasion has begun.
@5 Sounds like some upgraded insulation and better windows are in order.
You could hear them loud and clear on Grace near St. John’s. I thought it was a tornado siren. Guess I am too used to living in the midwest.
I heard them (it?) rather clear at 29th & Broad, really doubt insulation and/or windows are the issue but if laura is volunteering to help with installation I will sure take you up on it! ;>)
We heard them loud and clear in Montrose Heights. It sounded from here like it was coming from the southeast. We used to hear something similar from the chemical plants south of the river when I lived in Varina.
Someone said it sounded like it came from north of the city… I’m north of Union Hill and heard nothing.
we heard them clearly at 31st & Broad…sounded like they were southeast of here but i’m very curious to find out what was going on? i initially thought it was also vcu but they hadn’t scheduled a test (plus they usually do it in the middle of the day).
i live in highland park and i heard them loud and clear last night. sounded like it was coming from the south-east but hard to tell really. just called non-emergency police but they hadn’t heard anything about them. they suggested i call channel 12. no answer today from them. determined to figure out what that was!
Does the City Jail ever test their alarms?
We heard them on Clay between 26th and 27th. Definitely sounded like it was coming from southside.
Anyone find out anything? It did sound like the VCU alarms. Perhaps a drunken student accidentally flipped a switch.
emailed NBC 12 asking them to solve the mystery. hopefully someone can!
Maybe this is the culprit? I heard them over in the Jackson Ward area, too. http://www.voicenews.com/articles/2011/01/16/doc4d2dbf679755b013789159.txt
um.. i don’t think that article is about richmond, va. 🙂
Plus, that article deals with sirens that are too quite: definitely not our issue. Still interesting to see we have something in common with other Richmonds; perhaps we share the “malfunctioning sirens” part.
I was coming down Broad Street around 12:30am toward MCV and could see the fire alarm strobe lights going off throughout West Hospital (the old brick Art Deco building). So, I’m assuming it was the VCU/MCV sirens…I guess they activate when the fire alarms go off?
It was MCV. You can find the details at the link above for Sirens at midnight.
So, MCV has no way to alert their campus to a fire that does not involve alerting most of Metro Richmond?
thank you tim for finally solving the mystery.
Just heard more alarms and a voice that says “Attention… hazard…” didn’t catch the rest. Has been happening every few days near Libby Hill Park. WTH!
Matt #25, what you *might* have heard could have been from either police or fire vehicles passing by – I’ve sometimes heard them broadcast that sort of thing.
What I was told by a neighbor was that there were three caucasian teens seen breaking into the newer (I think it is infill) house on East Franklin that is on the left as you are heading down the East Franklin St. hill into Sugar Bottom, and the person who saw it called the cops, who responded with multiple (many!) cars. I think this might have been sometime after 5 p.m. tonight.
Sometime afterwards, maybe an hour or so later, there were blue lights flashing on cop cars heading into town on East Main St. I’m not at all sure if they are related to what you heard. I actually saw the flashing blue lights as I was coming into town from East Main St. a little before 7 p.m.
They woke me up today… never heard that before…
VCU/MCV sirens. These happen every once in awhile, regular tests. The VCU/MCV community is always alerted:
“The six Monroe Park Campus and four MCV Campus sirens will sound for one minute with a steady or even tone. In an actual life-threatening emergency, the sirens will activate using a four-minute wail (up-and-down tone). The “all clear” siren for actual events is a two-minute even-tone siren. The siren system purpose is to warn VCU personnel external to VCU facilities of life-threatening events. Also, VCU will test take-down of its regular website, http://www.vcu.edu, at noon and will bring up an emergency site for about 10 minutes.”
Thanks Clay Street. I’m usually not home when they do that… but I swear really? How loud do they have to be? I’m almost 2 miles from the MCV campus.
Historic residents, do not fear. That was the Architectural Review Board alarm. Again. Someone was thinking about putting a shed in their backyard without our consent. Your aesthetics are our aesthetics, people. We know what you are thinking. Don’t even try it, Mr. Mid-Century Modern guy. This is the 19th century. Seriously, we know what you are thinking. All the time. Jesus Christ, someone on 23rd Street just thought about replacing one window that faces the street with an exact yet new replica. Does it have original, old-ass, blurry glass? Then forget it. Is the sash rotting away like a Civil War amputee’s guts? Then replace it with a less rotting piece of authorized rotting wood. Duh. You may think you own your property, but you don’t. You are renting it from HISTORY, my friends. Even our alarm is made from 4000 cow bladders dug from the belly of a buried 18th century river boat!
ARB, lay off the crack rocks.
Did anyone else hear the sirens this morning at approximately 1:30 am and know what they were for?
Incident at VCU’s Monroe Park campus, they set of their whole system
Those sirens? Armed subject at VCU
Yes, I heard them too. I was up and at first thought it was a bunch of loud motorcycles revving up on the Interstate but it kept going. Then it stopped for about 3 seconds an went into a different pattern (all clear)? What was confusing is that apparently the incident happened at Monroe yet downtown set off their sirens in the middle of the night too. I believe it was the first time in 14-years I have consciously heard them and surprised they still existed from the Cold War era Civil Defense days.
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