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Weather warnings: Lightning protection in Babcock Ranch

Babcock Ranch, the community under construction on a parcel that straddles the Lee County-Charlotte County line, aims to be both the nation’s first solar-powered city and the first to have its own lightning-protection system. The system, made by Sunrise-based Thor Guard, will sound an alarm when it detects lightning within 10 miles of the 17,000-acre development and then send a different signal when the lightning moves beyond 10 miles away. Thor Guard President Bob Dugan says a typical Thor Guard system, covering 50 acres, costs $10,000. Similar systems, Dugan says, are in use now at college campuses and multiple NFL stadiums.