The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Portland parks introduce Lightning Alert System !

The City of Portland, OR. has recently installed a Lightning Alert System at its Municipal Park and Sports Complex. 

Portland’s Sports Director, Matt Rogers, says “it’s only been in recent weeks that the siren system has been activated. And through communicating with our public here in Portland, we hope that everyone in Portland is on board and will know what to expect in the event of a near lightning strike.”

This is how the alert system works: If there is lightning within a 10 mile radius, the alarm will sound off for 15 seconds. The alarm alerts people to seek shelter and clear the parks.

The City of Portland says:

  • Stop all activities and clear the park and athletic fields, and seek shelter immediately. Weather experts recommend “a sturdy, enclosed building or a car is the safest place to be during a thunderstorm.”
  • If you shelter in a car during a storm, you should avoid touching metallic areas that can conduct electricity. 
  • Avoid metal pipes and materials, including the splash pads and play equipment.
  • Never seek shelter underneath a tree.

When it is safe to return to the park, people will hear three 5-second blasts from the alert system, which is typically 30 minutes after the first alarm. 

The Lightning Alert System will be active between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. when the parks are most active. 

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