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District to protect students from lightning with new system

August 30, 2019

DONALDSONVILLE, La. (AP) — A school district in Louisiana has implemented lightning detection units to protect student athletes from severe storms.

WAFB-TV reports Ascension Public Schools said Thursday crews have installed the devices at high school practice and game facilities. Staff members at the district’s middle schools have been equipped with an app that detects lightning.

The district partnered with technology firm Perry Weather to obtain the equipment. The system uses cell data and solar energy to detect lightning within a 30-mile (48-kilometer) radius. Staff members are alerted and advised to stop athletic activities and seek shelter when lightning strikes within 8 miles (13 kilometers).

The school system says the National Lightning Detection Network ranked Louisiana second in the nation for highest density of lightning. It reported 1.1 million bolts statewide in 2017.

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Information from: WAFB-TV, http://wafb.com

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