Lightning claims 5 young lives in a week

Discussion in 'Weather' started by Dark Knight, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    Five young lives have been ended by lightning in less than a week, a deadly reminder of one of summer's leading hazards.

    "Typically, July marks the peak in lightning activity. It's also the time when people are vacationing, so they are outside and they are vulnerable to lightning," said John Jensenius, a lightning safety expert at the National Weather Service.

    But why so many young people in a few days? "I don't have an answer for that," Jensenius said, "It's all very sad."

    Landon Dillard, 16, of Macon, Ga., was riding a bicycle at a summer camp in Colorado when he was struck down on July 3.

    Two days later, 19-year-old Korey Moore of Swansea, S.C., was riding a personal watercraft when hit. The next day lightning claimed Stephanie Dawn Kirpes, 23, of Woodbridge, Va., while she was jogging along the shore in Virginia Beach, Va.

    And on July 7, two 16-year-olds were killed by lightning: Ben Richter on his family farm at Watertown, Wis., and Lucian Ellis of Sampson County, N.C., who was in a beach hut sheltering from a storm.

    "In terms of safety, the most important thing for people to know is if the sky looks threatening or they hear thunder, they need to get inside a substantial building — one with wiring and plumbing — or a hard-topped metal vehicle immediately," said Jensenius.

    According to the Weather Service, a safe building has a roof, walls and floor, such as a home, school, office building or a shopping center. They provide safety because lightning will usually travel through the wiring or the plumbing into the ground. That means stay away from showers, sinks, hot tubs and electronic equipment such as TVs, radios and computers.
    Picnic shelters, carports, dugouts, sheds and other partially open or small structures are not safe, the agency says.

    Finding a safe place is often easier said than done, of course, but Jensenius stresses caution, pointing out that lightning can reach miles from the cloud where it originates. Known as bolts from the blue, these strikes are not common but they have caused deaths.
    For campers and others outdoors far from a car or shelter, lightning experts warn people to stay away from tall objects like trees. Lightning tends to hit the highest thing around. And by the way, in an open field, that may be you.

    Much more at link:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080711/ap_on_sc/sci_lightning_toll;_ylt=Atsp0DPDJdnrP.SKtf4.WtZxieAA

    Lightning safety: http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/
     
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  3. mostlylurking

    mostlylurking New Member

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    My 93 year old grandfather's house was hit by lightning this week, too. He lost phone service for 24 hours. He's out in the country, so it was only him affected.
     
  4. vibec

    vibec New Member

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    My cousins husband was hit and killed in OKlahoma when I was a kid. It made such an impression on me, I've been paranoid about lightning ever since.

    Having kids on a soccer field when the sky starts to darken makes me nuts. Luckily, our fields have a lightening alarm and they are diligent about removing the kids when it goes off. I have about 90% confidence in the alarm system!
     
  5. philamena

    philamena Former Member

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    This happened down the street from my daughter's condo.
    A horse was struck by lightening in Va Beach and killed Thursday night. :(

     
  6. reportertype

    reportertype Dogs are awesome!

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    I am also super paranoid about lightning. In fact, growing up, when tornado warnings went off, I was always equally scared of them AND the lightning.
     
  7. Sheromom

    Sheromom New Member

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    I admit to loving lightning storms. We had one last week that was just gorgeous and it WAS reaching the ground. That said, I do keep myself inside and observe from a window. How sad for these families!
     
  8. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    The radio station I work at took two HUGE lightning strikes this past week, and destroyed nearly everything in the newsroom and nearby news studio. I have been there when that has happened before, and it is LOUD!!!!!!!! Nobody was hurt, praise the Lord.
     
  9. kahskye

    kahskye Inactive

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    So sad to read about these young lives claimed to lightning. I love storms, but not when the lightning is stiking close. We had our tree in the backyard split in two a few weeks ago. The worse time for us was last year leaving Chimney Rock when a storm came out of nowhere. As we were driving down the narrow, curving road, the tree in front of us was struck and went down. A few seconds sooner, it would have crushed our van.
     
  10. englishleigh

    englishleigh Authentic Southern Belle

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    Lightning hit my grandmother's house about 10 years ago and burned it to the ground. Lightning scares me to death. We were at the beach this past weekend and it was lightning in one of those fantastic-type, late-afternoon beach storms and I was stunned to observe (from my condo window) people still on the beach AND allowing their children to remain in the water! :furious:
     

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