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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published June 21 2010

Weather Talk: Lightning strikes average of 400 Americans per year

The National Weather Service has proclaimed this week National Lightning Safety Awareness Week.

Lightning strikes an average of 400 Americans every year, killing more than 50. Four-fifths of lightning casualties are men.

Most lightning deaths and injuries occur around heavy machinery and farm equipment, which often act as lightning rods to road construction workers and farmers. There is also a significant number of casualties on boats and

on golf courses. Interestingly, people are rarely hit by lightning during the peaks of thunderstorms, but just as storms are beginning or after they appear to have moved away.

To keep safe from lightning, everyone is advised to stay indoors from the first rumble of thunder until a half-hour after it ends. In case lightning hits your home, stay away from the plumbing and appliances, and do not use your hard-wired phone. The electric current will often follow these paths.


Have a weather question you’d like answered? E-mail weather@wday.com, or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108