3 To Know: 'Go indoors when thunder roars'

Marco Eagle

1. Collier reminds residents to go indoors when thunder roars

Summer is the peak season in Florida for one of the nation’s deadliest weather phenomena – lightning. On average, lightning accounts for more deaths per year than tornadoes.

A storm passing through Vero Beach last April produced many lightning strikes, including this one seen near the Vero Beach Municipal Marina.

Remember, the safest place to be during lightning activity is a large enclosed building. If you are away from a building, the second safest location is an enclosed vehicle (car, van, etc.), but not a convertible, on a bike or in other topless or soft top vehicles. If you are caught outdoors with no shelter nearby, stay away from tall trees. Crouch in the open, keeping twice as far away from a tree as the tree is tall.

Historically, the months of June, July and August are the deadliest months for lightning strikes in South Florida. This is due to the combination of our region’s near daily thunderstorms and the plethora of outdoor activities held during this time when children are out of school. Nevertheless, lightning is a threat year-round in South Florida.

Lightning safety tips for inside the home include:

  • Avoid contact with corded phones.
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. If you plan to unplug any electronic equipment, do so well before the storm arrives.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, take a shower, wash dishes or do laundry.
  • Stay away from windows and doors; stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.

For more information, visit www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.

2. Medical marijuana added to Florida special legislative session

Legislative leaders agreed Wednesday to add unfinished business on the regulation of medical marijuana to the special session, signaling a major step to conclude discussions that fizzled last month.

Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran agreed to add the issue to the three-day special session scheduled to start Wednesday.

The use of marijuana for medical purposes was approved by 71 percent of Florida voters in 2016. The Senate proposal to regulate use was sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, who planned to file a bill Wednesday.

“Our constitutional duty is to ensure the availability and safe use of medical marijuana in the manner prescribed by Florida voters,” said Bradley, R-Fleming Island. “This patient-first legislation will expand access to this medicine, while ensuring safety through a unified regulatory structure for each component of the process from cultivation to consumption."

3. Pine Ridge Road traffic-flow options to be shown at North Naples meeting

Adding more turn lanes along Pine Ridge Road might help move traffic through some of its busiest intersections for a few years. But it won't help for long.

Cars pass under I-75 on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 on Pine Ridge Road in North Naples.

Collier County engineers think they need to try something else to keep one of the county's busiest east-west corridors from grid-locking near Interstate 75.

Maps and early cost estimates of some unconventional intersection proposals will be displayed at an informational meeting from 5 to 7 p.m., June 15, at the Greater Naples YMCA, along Pine Ridge Road just northeast of its intersection with Airport-Pulling Road.

The best option to keep traffic moving might be to build a continuous-flow intersection at Pine Ridge and Livingston roads, just west of I-75, said Lorraine Lantz, principal planner and project manager for the county.

More on this story at naplesnews.com.