'It petrifies me': Iowa couple sues over town siren near their home

The couple claims the siren's loud noise has caused emotional turmoil and physical illness.


An Iowa couple says the siren that blares almost every day at noon right across the street from their home has led to emotional turmoil and physical illness.

Phillip and Leslie Bago bought their home in Lucas, Iowa, in 2002. Sometime later, the warning siren was installed about 50 yards from their home.

"It petrifies me," Leslie Bago said. "I wait for it every day. And I watch the clock."

She claims in recent years the siren has gone from annoying her to causing suffering.

"It's not fair. I don't think anybody would do it to their mother or anyone," she said. "My kids don't even like coming over because of that."

A lawsuit filed this month accuses the city of Lucas and local leaders of trespass, negligence, nuisance and denial of right to procedural and substantive due process.

The claims essentially allege the siren is tested too often and too close to the Bago's home.

Other neighbors, however, do not share the same complaints. Some who talked with sister station KCCI said they prefer to keep the siren as it is.

"A lot of people use that siren for the kids," said Jody Pettinger, who also lives next to the siren. "They know it's time for dinner. Some people actually use it for a nap, for the kids they know it's time to take their naps."

City and county leaders declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Bago now waits with impatience for the lawsuit's outcome.

"I close all my windows up, my doors, plug my ears — everything I can," she said. "It's really loud."