Some Florida officials consider lightning-prediction systems aft - WFLA News Channel 8

Some Florida officials consider lightning-prediction systems after deaths

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One pf the lightning prediction systems One pf the lightning prediction systems
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

A Tampa man is recovering after he was indirectly hit by lightning Thursday. And while six people have already been killed by lightning this year, some are trying to prevent the deaths. 

8 On Your Side met Thor Guard, Inc.’s regional manager Hunter Ross at Fishhawk sports complex Thursday. The company sells lightning prediction and warning systems. 

"The Thor Guard system reads the electrostatic charge charges in the atmosphere and when there is a build up high enough of the charges the system senses there has to be a strike to dissipate that charge," said Ross. "Our system will warn you 8-20 minutes prior to lightning hitting the ground prior to lightning hitting the ground within 2 miles of any direction of the sensor." 

Ross said the systems aren’t cheap. They start at $10,000 on the lower end. But he said the systems save lives. 

"Typically what happens is we are brought in when there has been a close call," added Ross. 

Fort Myers Beach is considering a similar system after one teen was killed and two others were injured by lightning this week. City leaders there believe the system could cost around $130,000. 

In the Bay area, Thor Guard has sold systems to Plant High School, Belleair Country Club, St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, Palma Ceia Country Club and dozens of other places. They have not sold the systems to any Tampa Bay beaches.

Copyright WFLA 2014. All rights reserved.

 

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