Lightning is to blame for a damaged stop light - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Lightning is to blame for a damaged stop light

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

When you think of storm damage, you probably imagine tornadoes, flash flooding, or hail. But the city of Quincy is dealing with a costly problem caused by lightning.

Lightning occurs 40 times a second worldwide, most of those stay in the clouds. But when lightning strikes something on the ground, carrying around 1 billion volts of electricity it can literally fry an object.

That's exactly what happened to this stop light at 18th and Locust in Quincy. The control box was struck by lightning about two weeks ago, and ever since, the lights have been flashing red, making it a four way stop.

City officials say the repairs will be expensive, but there is a silver lining.

"It will all be covered by the city's insurance. The cabinet itself is about seven thousand dollars. But we also have work involved with getting it installed," said Martin Wagner, the Interim Quincy City Engineer.

Wagner says the damage was worse than expected as they already tried replacing all the electronic boards. But the lights still didn't work, so they now have to replace the entire cabinet.

The project should take about three weeks.

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