FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.,- Lightning detection remains a hot topic on Fort Myers Beach. Leaders are working to get a system installed that would protect the entire seven miles of island. Today, the beach safety committee met again, to iron out some of the kinks before they head to Town Council. WINK News spoke to a woman who won't back down until the system is given a "go."
She can be called a grandma on a mission.
"When Jesse Watlington was killed it rang my bell."
Losing someone so young, to a deadly bolt of lighting, was just to hard for Erleene Sanders, a grandmother of a nine-year-old, to try and understand...
"we are in this age where we have all of this technology, that could have helped prevent something like that," said Sanders.
Sanders has stepped forward, vowed to make change. She was part of the project to get lightning detection systems installed in all Fort Myers parks.
"I feel it's my responsibility to make sure every municipality and every school in our area protects our children."
Fort Myers Beach leaders say Sanders will be influential in getting the system installed on the island. Leaders say there is no clear understanding of how to know when lightning will hit and where, that was proven to be true when three people were struck by lightning last month while walking on the beach.
"It's a tragedy, I get cold chill bumps just thinking about it."
"It certainly has raised awareness on the island about the danger of lightning," said President of the FMB Safety Committee, Bruce Butcher.
The system would cost around $130,000.
"It really is encouraging to see that technology that is available today," said Butcher.
But, Al Durrett with the safety committee says they will proceed with or without assistance from the county.
"It is my belief that what it cost that family in ICU care would probably have covered the cost of the system on the beach and in the Cape to.."
Now, the safety committee will meet with Town Council sometime next month with their presentation. Council will then make a vote.