Lightning was all over the place

Dear Editor:
Colombia Park between 44th & 45th and Palisade Ave and New York Ave in Union City was open today during the thunderstorm. There were about 20 kids playing in the rain and lightning for about a half hour! By the time I went out with my video camera to tell them to get out of the dangerous storm only about five kids and their mom or guardian were left. The mom/guardian told me basically to leave her alone that she and the kids were going to stay! This is a totally dangerous situation. Why is a city playground open for kids during a violent thunderstorm like the one we had today (7/18/2012)?
I called Mayor Stack and to his credit he called me right back and agreed it was dangerous and said he would send someone out to close the park – which he did. But why was it open in the first place? And why did it take a concerned citizen to get it closed down? There should be a city-wide rule that children’s playgrounds have to be closed during thunderstorms. Lightning was all over the place and it was directly overhead.

Jonathan Cousar

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