Having readily available data is a very important part of law enforcement. McDuffie County officers found that out the hard way late last week.
Lightening struck the Law Enforcement Center on June 8 and entered through a switch, according to McDuffie County Information Technology Director Kelly Evans. The results of that strike were disastrous, but took several weeks to become evident she said.
A data storage server - which officials were told was a product that had never failed - was done in by the jolt of electricity. The lightening wiped out data in the server all the way back to September of 2004.
The 911 system had to go manual for about three hours with dispatchers having no call information available. But according to 911 Director Tracy Neal, service was not interrupted.
"It never took us off-line," he said. "We picked up the phone and just started answering calls."
Mrs. Evans presented options on data recovery to commissioners at the work session on Aug. 1. Recovering the lost data - which includes jail bookings and fire records among other things - could cost upwards of $30,000 and could take up to two weeks to complete.
Options on replacing the system could initially cost between $6,000 and $34,000. Recurring yearly costs range from $3,800 to $52,800 depending on the type of technology involved.