CAPE CORAL, Fla. – Southwest Florida’s largest city will soon be better prepared for extreme weather. Monday the City Council approved spending $118,511.93 to install lightning detectors at 17 city parks. When lightning gets close, a strobe light will flash and a siren will sound.
“Any lightning within ten miles, our system will go off,” said Parks and Recreation director Steve Pohlman.
The Weatherbug lightning detectors, like the ones used by Lee County, should be installed by January 1, a city spokesperson tells WINK News.
“It’s well overdue,” said Cape Coral resident Kevin Schoensee. “Parents have apps on their phones to try to make due… I think it’s very very important that they get some lightning detection out here. It’s the lightning capital of Florida and we don’t have any.”
The city says beefing up its lightning detection system has been on its to-do list for years, but the parks department didn’t have the money for it until now.
“When resources popped up, we made it a priority,” said Pohlman.
Maintaining the system will cost the city about $12,000 per year. Currently, every park has one person designated to check the proximity of lightning strikes and alert everyone to take cover if they get too close. Pohlman says the detectors will get everyone to safety quicker and more efficiently.
“There won’t be any discussion. That new system will be what people pay attention to.”
Here’s the list of all 17 parks getting detectors:
Cape Coral Sports Complex
Storms Football Complex
Caloosa Football field
Pelican Soccer & Baseball fields
Jim Jeffers Park
Coral Oaks Golf Course
Burton Memorial Park
Strausser BMX Sports Complex
Northwest Softball Complex
Cape Coral Yacht Club
Four Freedoms Park
Joe Stonis Park
Sun Splash Family Waterpark