Letters to the Editor, Feb. 18
When I read the article in The Herald-Sun Feb. 6 concerning the cell phone tower ordinances, I was outraged. Let me review our issue of safety concerns with the 120-foot Southpoint tower on Highway 751 and hence future ordinances.
Lightning is attracted to towers, thus towers have lightning rods and grounding systems. The National Weather Service (www.lightningsafety.noaa ) states there are three things that attract lightning: height, isolation (like the Southpoint tower standing 60 feet above the tree line) and a pointy top. Add the fact that North Carolina is fourth in the nation and Durham County is the third county in North Carolina for lightning strikes (a house 150 feet from the tower site was burned by lightning in 2012) and the danger grows.
Within this 120-foot catalyst’s fall zone are: a 60-plus-year-old, 10-inch diameter, high-speed pipeline at unknown (prior to 1971) depth pumping natural gas at 600psi, power lines, highway traffic and church. Per IEEE, a lightning strike can generate 15,000 volts; per an SME, this pipeline will get hit with thousands of volts of electricity via the ground path.
Consider also the area’s exposure of lightning arcing off the tower, plus another nearby 6-foot pipeline. With generator diesel storage tanks on site, one for each carrier, a very high-risk danger will exist for our community. Nearby citizens are concerned for their safety and want to change any ordinance that would allow such a hazard to be created near any Durham neighborhood.
Many wonderful citizens
I want to take the time to say thank-you to a few people in Durham and to say that Durham has some wonderful and kind citizens. On Feb. 12 as I became stuck on snowy Duke Street near I-85, many wonderful residents from the neighborhoods along Duke Street came to the rescue of me and many other stranded drivers.
I wish I had gotten all their names but it was such a stressful and hectic time all I was worried about was either getting home or getting my car safely somewhere out of the way of sliding 18-wheelers. But now safely home with my car intact I just want to let the residents of the Duke street neighborhoods who worked so hard trying to help us commuters in various ways and even, it seems, putting their safety at risk know that I deeply appreciate them. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for helping me get my car safely off the main road and for letting me keep it parked for two days in your neighborhood.
I also want to thank Wendy, the manager at the Hampton Inn off I-85 just down the road from where I left my car. She worked tirelessly to get me and the other "refugees" rooms that first night and she was always very pleasant and patient even as we crowded her lobby Wednesday night. Thank you all! You are remarkable!