FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.,- That deadly lightning strike is igniting a push to bring a lightning prediction system to the beach. WINK News has actually been following this idea for months. Today, we went back to find out where the project stands.
" I feel like the problem needs to be addressed before we have another reoccurrence of yesterday."
Matt Rector was one of the first people to help the lightning strike victims Tuesday afternoon. He says a lightning prediction system would only do good for the island.
"In 20 minutes it's on us and you think it's just going to pass by, I'll just sit it out. It can be life or death," said Rector.
Al Durrett with the Fort Myers Beach Safety Committee has been working for eight months to bring the system to the island.
"It's going to have something positive to come out of it, unfortunately a little bit late for what happened yesterday," said Durrett.
To cover the entire seven miles of the island, Durrett says three systems would need to be installed, attached to 12 horns. The cost--roughly $130,000.
"What number can you put on people's safety, you can't put a price on people's safety. I would pay $130,000 for someone to be safe right now," Rector told WINK News.
Durrett says the system could predict when lightning is about 10 miles away from the shoreline.
"It can happen anytime without warning, you don't need clouds over your head or it be raining t have the lightning strike."
Now, the Fort Myers Beach Fire Department has offered to monitor the system. The next safety committee meeting will be on August 13th, and then this topic will go to town council for a vote.