Julia Roberts Goad
GOODY, Ky. — Williamson Fire Chief Jerry Mounts said he was “helping an old friend” when his department visited Belfry High School to help after lightning struck the school’s flagpole.
Principal Rod Varney explained that when flagpoles are installed, they are not put directly into cement, but rather into a conduit that is surrounded by sand. Then, as wind and weather move the pole, there is some flexibility of movement.
The base of the flagpole at Belfry is surrounded by bricks, some of which are engraved, honoring supporters of the school. Varney said when lightning struck the pole Wednesday, the energy of the strike pushed the pole, forcing some of the bricks up and out into the parking, lot as far as 65 feet away from the base of the pole. The flying bricks did not strike any people or vehicles.
The damage to the base of the flag was minimal, but the metal ball on top of the pole was scorched and bent. It will be repaired by vocational students.
Lt. Stephen Casey with the WFD was lifted by the department’s aerial truck to retrieve the ball from the top of the pole to be repaired. He said he went approximately 80 feet up with the truck.
Chief Mounts said his department has helped BHS three times with the pole, once to install the rope that raises the flag, once to repair the pulley that lowers the flag, and the trip yesterday to help with repairs.
“Mr. Varney taught me in school, and he played softball with my father,” Mounts said. “Its good to be able to help an old friend.”