Lightning strike damages Crawford County dispatch system

ROBERTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Crawford County’s dispatch system is almost back to normal after a lightning strike destroyed it in August.

The sheriff says it didn’t shut down service, but it did cost nearly $40,000 to fix the damage.

Thinking quickly on your feet is what kept operations running at the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office after a lightning strike took out the dispatch system.

“It hit the building and knocked out several telephones. It knocked out several computers. It knocked out our paging system with the fire department,” Sheriff Lewis Walker said.

Walker says the strike temporarily knocked out service, but damaged the equipment.

“We were able to swap around a few phones and get our dispatch back up and get us back going and use some portable radios until we was able to get back,” Walker said.

Walker says a control box inside a closet in the sheriff’s office was hit by lightning. They’ve since made some initial repairs including a copper bar that’s supposed to prevent lightning from damaging equipment if it were to strike again.

“Hopefully, if we get another hit by lightning, that would help save some of what we got lost on this time,” Walker said.

A loss that cost nearly $40,000 to fix.

“We had some equipment that won’t be replaced, so we’re going to have to replace it with new equipment,” he said.

Sheriff Walker says insurance covered the costs, but it’s important he and his staff are prepared in case anything like that happens again.

“We want to make sure that we do have measures in place that when things happen, we can try to get it back as quick as we can,” he said.

Sheriff Walker says there weren’t any missed calls while switching around the phones.

He’s expecting the final pieces of equipment to come in by the end of the week.

Categories: Crawford County, Local News

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