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 ~ National Lightning Safety Institute ~

Section 3.5

Selected Incidents from the
"It Can't Happen to Me" Library

Source: National Weather Service "Storm Data" Statistics

A 26-year old male prison guard was injured while working outdoors at the Sumter Correctional Institute. Rain had just begun falling and the first lightning strike observed hit a fence and ricocheted 15 to 20 feet into the guard knocking him down.

Lightning struck and killed a 24-year old man while he was playing golf. Two of his companions were knocked down but not injured.

Four people were struck by lightning, two injured seriously, at a golf course in the Long Island Community about 3 miles northeast of Bridgeport. The people were taken by Life Force helicopter to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. The four had been playing golf when it began raining, and they were standing under a tree at the number 5 green.

Two golfers were struck by lightning in a golf cart. They were hospitalized in critical condition.

A 34-year old little league coach was killed by a lightning strike while on the field.

A group of people who had just finished a canoeing trip were standing along the bank of a river in southwest Louisiana when lightning struck a nearby tree. The electrical charge jumped to the group and injured six persons, with one reported in serious condition.

A man was critically hurt by a lightning strike while walking on Haulover Beach.

A 29-year old man and a 14-year old child were struck by lightning at a rodeo in Lawrence Township and hospitalized. Two horses were also struck and killed by lightning.

A 28-year old man suffered minor injuries and temporary blindness when lightning struck just outside the window from which he was viewing a thunderstorm.

Lightning killed a 31-year old male and injured a 22-year old female as they were jogging.

Lightning struck close to a garage where a 23-year old man was working on a metal table. The man felt a numbness and was taken to the hospital.

Lightning struck and caused minor damage to the Westside day care center. The lightning entered the center through the air conditioning system and followed the duct work through the house. As the electricity passed through the house, it sought a ground near a closet and made a pencil thin hole in the sheetrock as it went to a metal clothes rod. The lightning hit clothes, hangers, ran through the pipe then jumped through another wall and into another closet. Damage from the lightning was confined to burnt clothes in the two closets.

Lightning struck twice and damaged the Excelsior EMC headquarters office in Metter. The lightning damaged radio equipment and the control board to a backup generator.

A lightning strike traveled along phone lines and ruined several pieces of equipment and damaged others in the Barrow County Detention Center, county courthouse, Winder City hall, Police Department, Fire Department and legal offices. The power surge associated with the lightning damaged the main frame computer, several printers, telephones and monitors of the Winder municipal offices.

Firefighters, on the way to another blaze, witnessed lightning striking a home at Czar Place Road in Riverdale. Firefighters noted that lightning struck the house then raced down the telephone wire connected to the house. Only minor damage was reported.

Lightning started a grass fire near Canon City which burned for about two days.

Lightning caused 10 acres of hillside trees and vegetation to burn before the fire was contained.

A 56-year-old man was killed by lightning just south of Eagle Grove in Wright County. He and his 54-year-old wife were riding a motorcycle and had stopped to put on their rain gear. Lightning struck the man in the head, striking his helmet. The secondary strike hit his wife. They were taken to the hospital. He was in critical condition and subsequently died. She was in fair condition.

In Ottumwa, lightning struck a church steeple, knocking it down and causing about $5,000 in damage.

Lightning struck on a farm northwest of Dyersville. Five cows were killed by the lightning strike.

Lightning struck a tree under which six pregnant cows and a heifer were standing. All of the cows were killed.

Twenty-four head of cattle were struck and killed by lightning while standing under a tree. Lightning in West plains also caused power outages and one minor fire to a roof.

A rancher discovered six head of cattle killed by lightning.

Lightning striking a tree next to a home in Park Township destroyed electrical equipment and appliances in the home and caused minor injuries to a child who suffered mouth burns from her braces.

Two tree trimmers were thrown four feet after their equipment was hit by lightning. Injuries were minor.

A man cleaning out a storm drain during a thunderstorm was struck by lightning and thrown across the road. He was treated by a local hospital for minor injuries.

Lightning struck a van that was being towed by a wrecker at the intersection of Georgia Highway 19 and I-16. The driver of the wrecker was slightly injured from the lightning strike. The van received only minor paint damage from the lightning strike.

A lightning strike in Bonita Springs hit a car antenna, melting it and blowing a hole in the car. Three occupants of the car were uninjured. Numerous other lightning strikes started brush fires.

Lightning struck and burned a historic barn in the city of Frederick at the School for the Deaf.

Lightning struck a barn full of hay at the Shamrock Farm near Winfield for the second time in 10 days. The barn burned to the ground.

Lightning struck in two places at the Normandy Farms Campgrounds including one strike that crashed through the roof of the recreation center. Another struck one or more trees and traveled through the ground beneath the feet of people holding onto aluminum tent poles or standing in water. Twelve campers were taken to area hospitals, and ten others were treated for injuries at the scene.

Seven persons were struck and injured by lightning in Lower Oxford Township while attending a family reunion. Lightning apparently struck a tree and then bounced from it to the party tent under which they were standing.

Lightning struck the central office tower at the Monroeville Telephone Company leaving thousands without telephone service and causing about $60,000 in damage.

Lightning killed two women and injured one man in separate incidents. A 42-year-old man was injured in Ricketts State Park when lightning struck a tent he was hiding in . Lightning entered through his right shoulder and exited through his right foot. Farther southeast in Moon Lake park in Plymouth Township two women were struck and killed by lightning while taking shelter under a pavilion. Lightning also split two of the pavilion's six support posts. One woman was so badly struck that she received third degree burns over 35% of her body, had two quarters fused in her pocket and the zipper to her jeans was melted.

Lightning hit a tree then ricocheted onto the roof of a house igniting a fire which gutted the attic and resulted in major water damage to the first and second floors of the house.

A women was struck by lightning as she reached from her van to an automatic teller machine. The ATM was severely damaged.

A Skowhegan man was injured by lightning as he stood barefoot on the wet cement floor of his garage.

A person talking on a cordless telephone in the living room of her house was slightly injured by a lightning strike.

Lightning struck near a home on Helican Mountain in the eastern part of the county and injured a woman who was holding onto the door of her refrigerator.

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Providing expert training and consulting for lightning problems