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National Weather Service Marks Lightning Awareness Week

By Tori Shaw
Published On: Jun 25 2012 04:52:53 PM CDT
0625 Lightning Awareness Image
NORTH CAROLINA -

A hundred million volts makes for an amazing light display in the sky, but it very dangerous and destructive.  The owner of home on Cherry Branch Dr in Havelock heard a loud boom during a thunderstorm, stepped out her back door and saw flames coming from her attic.  Firefighters put it out, and, now, electrician, Ron Poole, makes repairs.  He says he deals with the after effects of lightning every year.

"We get about two to three calls a year on lightning.  Sometimes, it's nothing, just a breaker that got tripped.  Sometimes you do have a fire and sometimes it's just a burnt wire," said Poole.

It's tough to predict where lightning will hit.  The National Weather Service promotes lightning awareness.  Meteorologist, Lara Pagano, tells me that this time of year, educating people about lightning is important.

"It's the potential hazard especially since so many people are spending their time doing outdoor activities," said Pagano.

If you see an approaching thunderstorm while you are outside, the best place to go is inside a sturdy building.  If that is not available to you, you can jump inside your vehicle.

"You have tires there that are rubber.  If you stay in the car and not touch any metal objects within the car, you are pretty safe," said Pagano.

The National Weather Service says lightning kills an average of 54 people a year in the United States.  For the homeowner on Cherry Branch Dr, she is hoping it won't strike twice.

TORI TIDBIT:

In the U.S., there have been four lightning related deaths so far this year.  If you would like more information, you may visit

http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/