Parents question Cary's lightning policy

July 27, 2012 2:24:01 PM PDT
Twice in the past week, A Cary mom has complained to the town about her child's baseball team playing a game outside while it was thundering.

Officials said it was fine, but Valerie Van Pelt Hunt said the recent lightning storms are a matter of life or death.

"The kids are holding metal bats. It's just common sense to know that the bats and lightning are a really bad combination," Van Pelt Hunt said.

Van Pelt Hunt said Cary's severe weather policy is not severe enough, and the National Weather Service agrees. Their advice is, "When thunder roars, head indoors."

However, the Town of Cary's policy waits for lightning instead. An official said safety is the number one priority, but admits summer storms are a problem, as well as other concerns.

"It's an issue for us that the staff is always dealing with," Parks and Recreation Director Doug McRainey said. "Safety is paramount to us, so we consider this a big deal. When you hear thunder it could be 30 or 40 miles away," McRainey said.

Weather experts maintain that thunder signals that lightning could be about 20 miles away, and it is still very possible.

McRainey said he will take another look at the policy and that Van Pelt Hunt is not the first parent that has expressed concern.  He said they have also looked into buying a monitoring device to ensure a more accurate reading of when storms are approaching.

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