Lightning strikes disrupt courthouse

By Maggie Hockenberry

Published 07/21 2014 01:57PM

Updated 07/21 2014 02:00PM

FORD COUNTY -- Lightning strikes are causing problems at the county courthouse. The radio tower has been hit many times in the past few years, causing electrical problems at the courthouse and jail. WCIA-3's Maggie Hockenberry tells us how security is being affected.

In the past few months, the Ford County Courthouse has been hit multiple times by lightning and one strike can cause a whole lot of problems.

"We've had thousands of dollars worth of damage over the last several years and we need to get this under control."

The radio tower surges electricity to the courthouse and the jail. County officials say it's not grounded properly, knocking out computers and even shocking people through telephone receivers.

One of the biggest problems is the loss of security cameras in both the jail and courthouse. When this happens, the officers have extra work to do.

"We have to go around the building of the jail, just make sure all the doors are secure and make sure the inmates are fine."

The insurance claims are piling up and the tower needs a lightning rod and crossbar installed. It will cost about $8,000. Sheriff Mark Doran will be relieved once the work is done.

"We're going to try to get her to go down into the ground rather than into the courthouse and jail."

The improvements should be done in the next few weeks. Doran said the work will be done by Hi-Tech Towers, in Gibson City.

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