Sports complex gets new weather system to keep kids safe

New weather equipment for park
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jonesboro sports teams have an extra tool to keep them safe during serve weather.

The Jonesboro Baseball Booster Club purchased a new weather system for Joe Mack Campbell Park.

The system called WeatherBug is a $15,000 two-tower system.

The club paid for the system but Jonesboro Parks and Recreation will split the yearly service fee.

Parks and Recreation Director Wixson Huffstetler said the new system will help keep kids, parents and spectators safe.

"We are trying to be more proactive for our children here in sports and out of town guests to take cover," Huffstetler said.

The system has two towers that alert people when lightening is near.

When lightening is within 10 miles of Jonesboro the tower sounds one 30 second horn and shine a red light warning people severe weather is near.

"Ten miles gives us plenty of time to get people to shelter whether it be in their cars, the concession stands or in our shop. Our tournaments are getting bigger so we have a lot more people here and it is crowded so we need time to get these people to safety," Huffstetler said.

Then when the lightening threat is gone the system will sound three 10 second horns and shine a white light alerting the all clear.

Huffstetler said this part of the system is important to the directors.

"The biggest thing is we don't know when the all clear is. Yeah storms have passed but lightening could still be close and with the kids holding bats and poles around," Huffstetler said. "We sit there and sit there and everybody is like well the sun is out but that doesn't mean it is safe but now this system will tell us it is safe to go back out,"

Directors and booster members also receive the alert on their phones and email accounts.

Huffstetler said the system is a way for the department to be proactive so nothing bad happens to the kids.

"There was that unfortunate tragedy last year in Mississippi where a kid was running off the field during a storm and a branch fell and killed him. So we are trying to be as proactive as we can," Huffstetler said.

The system has already been installed and is working.

"We just got it installed, it is working I actually got an alert this morning so we will use it for softball complex, Joe Mack Campbell Park and anywhere else we have sports," Huffstetler said.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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