The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 22, 2013

Lightning sizzles Snyder County electronic equipment

By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item

— MIDDLEBURG — Lightning strikes have been costly for Snyder County over the past three years.

The County Board of Commissioners said today they’re still working to repair damage done to computers and security cameras by a lightning strike two years ago at the 911 Center off Route 522 in Penn Township.

The county has spent about $40,000 replacing battery backups, computer units and camera equipment and is now looking to replace a ruined time card tracking system.

“It’s been done manually since the lightning strike,” Commissioner Malcolm Derk said, explaining how 911 Center staff have been keeping track of hours worked.

Commissioner Peggy Chamberlain Roup said the lightning strike at the 911 Center shorted out computers but did not cause any delay in emergency communications.

“No one was ever at risk,” she said.

Two more separate lightning strikes this year damaged a battery pack at the 911 tower atop Shade Mountain and a $40,000 control panel at the county jail.

Derk said the tall towers are susceptible to lightning because they stick out like a sore thumb in the flat, rural terrain.