Lightning bolt hits E-911 radios

Published 11:59 pm Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday’s late afternoon thunderstorm left its mark when lightning struck the Covington County E-911 radio system sometime after 2 p.m.

E-911 director Kristy Stamnes said while the strike knocked out the department’s radio system, the county never lost dispatching service.

“It hit our radios and telephone system,” Stamnes said. “We lost some of our radios, but were able to immediately go to our back-up method. It was scary here for a while.”

Stamnes said the repairs were finished Wednesday afternoon.

It is unknown how much voltage struck the radio system, she said.

By Wednesday afternoon, the rains had once again rolled into the county, and residents can expect more of the same type of weather in the coming days, said Susan Carpenter, county emergency management agency director.

“Mobile Weather has told us that we can expect more of these same ‘popcorn showers’ for the remainder of the week,” Carpenter said. “With those we can expect 1 to 2 inches of rainfall. Also we can expect an occasional ‘big one’ like we saw (Tuesday night) that could bring anywhere from 3 to 5 inches of rainfall.

“Of course, we all need to be on the lookout for lightning,” she said. “As with the hit at the 911 building, we need to remember that lightning is generally always associated with these types of afternoon showers and it can do damage.”