Teaneck is the latest town to alert folks when to bolt, with lightning detection systems in parks.
“Electrical storm season is upon us,” Deputy Mayor Adam Gussen said. “When you see the light go off…an electrical storm is approaching. [S]eek safe shelter.”
Municipal Open Space funds, not local taxpayer dollars, are being used to pay for the systems in just about all of the local towns, including Dumont, Englewood, Montvale, New Milford, and Woodcliff Lake.
What’s more, residents can sign up for personal notification or text messages when the warning signals detect potential trouble approaching.
The outdoor devices are equipped with sensors, sirens and flashing lights that kick in when cloud-to-cloud or cloud-to-ground lightning strikes are detected from within about 20 miles — far-enough to give people time to scatter. It’s all connected to the local fire department, which links the system with a national network of lightning sensors.
If no additional lightning is detected, the system will sound an “all clear” signal a half-hour later.
Lightning is one of the leading weather-related causes of death and injury in the United States.
So if your town doesn’t have a detection system, you might want to ask why.
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