NOBLESVILLE - The Noblesville Parks and Recreation Department has installed 9 new lightning detection systems within the city limits. The systems were installed in various parks, playgrounds, golf courses and athletic fields throughout the community.
“With thousands of park visitors, dozens of free concerts and special events, and more than 43,000 rounds of golf played on city courses annually, once we learned about the detection system we knew it was something we needed to have in place and will be a great asset for all guests,” said Noblesville Parks Director Brandon Bennett.
These devices will be monitored by park staff and will alert them when lightning is detected within 20 miles. When lightning is then detected with 12 miles a strobe light will come on and then a horn will sound when the lightning is within 8 miles. At this point park staff will end any outdoor programs and if you are on an athletic field or golf course this you indication to seek shelter.
It is important to remember lightning can travel up to 10 miles from the center of the storm, so while you may not think the storm is close you are still in danger as soon as you can hear thunder. Once 30 minutes pass without a lightning detection three short horn blasts will indicate all clear and you can resume outdoor activities.
While lightning does not make a storm severe it does make it very dangerous. You should not be complacent even though a Thunderstorm Warning isn’t issued. According to the National Weather Service, 51 people are killed by lightning a year in the United States on average and hundreds more are injured. These new detection tools will no doubt make Noblesville a safer community.