Published: Jun 25, 2013 11:26 AM EDT
Updated: Jun 25, 2013 5:50 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Lee County Commissioners on Tuesday approved funding to place an early lightning alert system at various youth athletic facilities and swimming pools that Lee County Parks & Recreation owns and manages.

"it's a great detection system.  It's essentially just a warning system to warn people to get off the fields or get out of the area, get away from inclement weather," Lee County Parks and Recreations Director Dave Harner said.

Lee County Parks & Recreation will purchase and install the lightning alert system at 17 sites with 19 total alert systems. Work is expected to begin next week. The $132,644 cost will be covered by the county’s Parks & Recreation Major Maintenance budget from the current fiscal year, 2012-13. Parks staff worked diligently with the Lee County School District to use existing infrastructure to offset costs to the county.

The system, called WeatherBug Total Lightning Network, incorporates an integrated intra-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning-detection network. It helps characterize severe storm precursors, improving lead times and weather-management planning. It uses outdoor alerts for mass notification, mobile alerts for staff to use in the field, internal alerts for offices and facilities, and online alerts to show area weather for staff to stay informed. 

List of Alert Systems Sites:

-Alva Community Park

-Bayshore Elementary

-Buckingham Community Park

    -Estero Community Park

-Hancock Community Park 

-Jerry Brooks Community Park

-Kelly Road Soccer Complex 

-North Fort Myers Community Park

 -North Fort Myers Community Pool 

-Phillips Park/Pine Island Pool

-Rutenberg Park 

-San Carlos Community Pool 

-Tanglewood Elementary School 

-Three Oaks Community Park 

-Veterans K-8/Veterans Park 

-Villas Elementary School 

-Wa-Ke Hatchee Community Park