Saturday, September 12, 2009

ZOT!!! (not!)

Schools count on lightning alarms to save lives

The Lewisville school district is trying to remove the guesswork out of when to call off a game because of approaching storms.

The board approved spending $450,000 this summer to install lightning sensors at all 66 of its campuses.

"Our board took a large initiative throughout the district to make this happen, just for student safety," said district spokeswoman Karen Permetti.

The sensors are mounted near playgrounds and stadiums. Administrators say they work and sound much like tornado sirens; when electrical activity is detected within ten miles, alarms sound and lights flash to warn people nearby.

Pfft! I wish Ballyhoo had that kinda dough lying around. Of course, we ain't anywhere near Lewisville-size. But still!


At last night's Friday Night Lights victory (yep, my boys won, 41-20, in case you didn't read my tweets), the principal spent the evening on the sidelines holding a little box which was, apparently, a lightning sensor.

As you can see below, the skies were rather ominous during the early moments of the game, but the lightning sensor never reported anything nearby. The rain never came, miraculously, and we played the whole game without delay.

The humidity was at around 600%, however, and the plague of crickets was nearly devastating to those of us in the bleachers. I'm quite certain I came home with one or two still lodged in my hair, and I will probably find a couple of dead ones in the bottom of my purse the next time I clean it out.

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