Emergency tower fried by lightning bolt

Posted at: 07/26/2013 5:15 PM
Updated at: 07/26/2013 5:17 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

One in 1,000—that’s all it took for a lightning strike to fry a key component of Albuquerque’s Emergency Communication System in the early morning hours.

The bolt hit the tower, located on Montgomery near Juan Tabo, and damaged circuits in the transmission station, leaving police and firefighters in some areas cut off from their dispatchers.

Luckily, authorities relied on backup systems and cell phones, so 911 calls were not affected.

“Communication is our lifeline, it’s very important to communicate with each other and, of course, the dispatch center, so anytime we have any type of hiccup in our communication system, we have very deep concerns about that,” Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz said.

Crews are still repairing the tower and hope the problem can be fixed in the next 48 hours.