NWS investigates Kokomo's discounted weather radios

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Bob Segall/13 Investigates

Kokomo - The National Weather Service is investigating thousands of weather radios given out in central Indiana. The agency wants to know if the deeply-discounted radios will really work.

It's a story Eyewitness News first broke a few weeks ago when severe weather ripped through Indiana. Residents in Kokomo told us their brand new weather radios didn't work.

Wednesday, a meeting was held in Kokomo between city officials and a top meteorologist from the National Weather Service.

Dan McCarthy, the region's meteorologist-in-charge, told 13 Investigates:

"The concern is the radios did not receive [National Weather Service] warnings. We want to make sure they're getting a signal and we're testing to see if the problem is the radios or the towers. I want to make sure we've done our testing before we make any decisions."

This summer, Kokomo distributed thousands of these discounted radios after 13 Investigates showed the city owns no tornado sirens. Residents paid just six dollars per radio -- far less than most all-hazard radios approved by the National Weather Service.

Now, there are serious questions about the seal on these radios, which suggest they are approved by the National Weather Service.

Is the seal legitimate? The meteorologist-in-charge won't say. He told 13 Investigates, "I'm not going to comment on that."

It means thousands of Kokomo residents are left wondering if their six-dollar weather radios giving a false sense of security and too good to be true.

These are important questions that need to be answered before the next big storm. Eyewitness News is working to get you answers.