Expensive strike - lightning fries Water Authority equipment

Aug. 13, 2013 @ 07:30 PM

Talk about a lightning strike with some hellacious punch.
Employees of the agency that operates the Randleman Regional Reservoir are coping with the fallout from a lightning strike during a storm Friday afternoon that hit an above-ground water tank and took out eight units of equipment. The 300,000-gallon tank is off of U.S. 311 Business in northern Randolph County in the community of Sophia.
The lightning strike, which didn’t disrupt water service, has forced employees of the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority to perform manual operations for work usually done electronically or through computer systems. The lightning hit the tank at 5 p.m. Friday, said Greg Flory, executive director of the Water Authority.
Flory briefed members of the Water Authority board of directors about the strike during the board’s meeting Tuesday afternoon at the John F. Kime Water Treatment Plant in Randleman.
Following the meeting, Flory told The High Point Enterprise that the lightning strike at the U.S. 311 Business water tank took out an electronic gate in the fence around the site, four cameras, the radio system and other equipment. The Water Authority still is determining the monetary cost of the damage, he said. 
Lightning periodically strikes Water Authority property along the 6,000-acre lake covering parts of Randolph and Guilford counties. But the strike Friday afternoon caused the most damage in the three years since the lake opened, Water Authority officials say.
Decades in the making, Randleman Lake serves as a drinking water source for High Point, Archdale, Greensboro, Jamestown, Randleman and parts of Randolph County. The lake also is a recreational fishing and boating area, with its main marina along Adams Farm Road near Randleman off of the Level Cross exit of U.S. 220.

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