Lightning Warning System
Lightning is one of nature’s most deadly forces. People can’t predict lightning’s likelihood. Unfortunately the most dangerous locations are on golf courses, by water and open areas, which are areas where you are most vulnerable.
The St. Charles Park District has recently installed the STRIKE GUARD Lightning Prediction System with horn warning system at James O. Breen Community Park, James O. Breen South, Otter Cove Aquatic Park, Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, Pottawatomie Park, Pottawatomie Golf Course, River View Miniature Golf Course, Swanson Pool and the East Side Sports Complex. Although each one of us is responsible for our own safety, we utilize this sophisticated computer system to provide additional warning when dangerous conditions are detected.
The system consists of sensors placed at the park site that measure lightning strikes in an 8-10 mile radius of the park. When conditions indicate that lightning has occurred, a signal is sent to an alarm horn. The signal provides an 8- to-12 minute warning that allows one to clear the area and seek shelter.
To minimize the potential for lightning related injuries, it is recommended that when the warning system is activated (15-second horn blast and strobe light flash), the park sites affected be cleared and activities not be resumed until the all-clear signal is given (3 short horn blasts and a cessation of the strobe light). These alarm tones are distinctly different from any current public alarm tones. It is recommended that park patrons and staff immediately seek shelter in their vehicles. If such shelter is unavailable, patrons should avoid areas that are higher than the surrounding landscapes, not to use a tree for shelter, and keep away from metal objects such as bicycles, golf carts, umbrellas, etc. If it is the opinion of the Park staff, teacher, coach, referee, or the general public that the weather situation is not safe, do not wait for horns to activate – CLEAR THE AREA! Take shelter in your vehicles anytime lightning is seen, or thunder is heard.
Although we regret interrupting your selected activities, our primary concern is the safety of our park patrons. This system will be operational from March to November, seven days a week, from 7am to 8pm. In order to keep the entire system operational, all horn locations will be tested monthly during the operational period. A sequence of three short horn blasts will be manually activated unless a potentially dangerous weather situation is approaching.
Thank you for your cooperation and support!