Lee County will install lightning devices at county pools and parks
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FORT MYERS, Fla.- Lee County Parks and Recreation will install more than a dozen lightning alert systems at the county's pools and parks in Fort Myers, Estero, Lehigh Acres and Bokeelia.
Andre Willis coaches tennis at Three Oaks Park. It's one of the locations where the county plans to install a lightning alert system.
"I think it's a great idea. The park is going to install permanent ones for the facility. It is way more safer for the kids to be out here," said Willis.
In Southwest Florida, we are well aware just how quick tragedy can strike. In October, lightning struck and killed 11-year-old Jesse Watlington on a football practice field in Fort Myers and in June a construction worker was struck and killed in Collier County.
"There can be rain very far away, but lightning very close," added Willis.
Lee County Parks and Recs will install lightning detectors at 17 sites including both pools and parks. Those parks include Alva Community Park, Bayshore Elementary, Buckingham Community Park, Estero Community Park, Hancock Community Park, Jerry Brooks Community Park, Kelly Road Soccer Complex, North Fort Myers Community Park, North Fort Myers Community Pool, Phillips Park, Rutenberg Park, San Carlos Community Pool, Tanglewood Elementary School, Veterans Park, Villas Elementary School, Wa-ke Hatchee Community Park,and Three Oaks Community Park. The school district will help pay for the detectors at the elementary schools.
"Some will be on top of buildings, some on top of polls. It's where they can best be heard and best be seen," said Dana Kasler, Deputy Director of Lee County Parks and Recreation.
It will cost the county about $132,000 dollars to install the devices. The devices will send out mass notification and mobile alerts when lightning is near.
"You'll hear probably a 5 second tone that lets you know as well as visual alerts and when it is all clear it will send out another alert," said Kasler.