FORT MYERS, Fla.- A Fort Myers grandmother made a plea to city council to install permanent lightning detectors at city parks, and council unanimously approved her request.
After a scary situation with Erleene Sanders grandson last month, she was on a mission to make a change in the city of Fort Myers and and that mission was a little easier than she thought it would be. Sanders was prepared to come back to council as long as it took to get better lightning detectors at city fields.
Last month, she says her grandson was playing baseball at the Stars Complex when a storm rolled in. She says no one monitored the weather or told the kids to get off the field. It came to the coaches and maintenance workers handling the situation. She says, "it was insane, absolutely insane. The children were frightened and we thought this just can't be happening to us in Florida, in the lightning capital of the world."
The city does have five handheld lightning detectors but Sanders says those aren't good enough. Fort Myers Little League also has three handheld detectors used at the city fields.
City officials said they would evaluate the system to see whether it would be effective to purchase the WeatherBug system that the county and school district recently purchased.
Those permanent lightning detectors cost about $7,000. The handheld devices run about $200.
But Mayor Randy Henderson called the decision a 'no brainer.' He said, "let's get on board with what the county is doing and what the school board is doing and adopt the measures they deem appropriate in their venue, I see no reason why the city of Fort Myers should be any less protected."
The city will now start looking for the money in the budget to purchase the new permanent systems.