Police, fire department dispatch down after lightning strike - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Police, fire department dispatch down after lightning strike

Lightning causes around $40,000 worth of damage to communication equipment, according to Metropolis Police Chief. Lightning causes around $40,000 worth of damage to communication equipment, according to Metropolis Police Chief.
METROPOLIS, IL (KFVS) -

Communication equipment at the Metropolis Police Department and Fire Department was damaged Monday after a lightning strike. The bolt of electricity hit the communication tower and the surge of electricity raced down the cables and straight into the buildings electrical systems.

"The storm was starting to roll in and it was raining pretty hard," said Metropolis Chief of Police Harry Masse. "The next thing we knew there was a loud popping sound almost like a shotgun blast in the radio room."

Metropolis Police Chief Harry Massey says lightning hit around 3 p.m. Monday damaging phones, video boards, new work boards, etc.

"We could smell something burning in the radio room. That smell eventually went away. But all dispatch functions ceased," Chief Masse said.

The department's portable radios were still working so they used those to stay in touch with officers on the street.

"Fortunately the repeater system didn't go down. The bad guys might like us to take a vacation. But everybody else would be put out," said Chief Masse. "We needed the rain, we just didn't need the lightning and the thunder."

Massey thinks the damage is around $40,000.

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