10 people were struck by lightning at a soccer match yesterday. Thankfully it looks like everyone will be OK, though some injuries were serious. The spectators unfortunately took shelter under a tree when the storm came through. I’ve had trees on my property take direct hits by lightning and they’ve had the bark plus large pieces of wood blown off them like the tree exploded from within. Scary stuff. Here’s a snippet on things to remember if you’re caught in a storm outside:
If caught in the open during a thunder and lightning storm and the hair on your head or neck begins to stand on end, go inside the nearest building immediately! If no shelter is available, crouch down immediately in the lowest possible spot and roll up in a ball with feet on the ground. Do not lie down!
If outdoors during a thunder and lightning storm, avoid water! Also avoid metal objects such as wires, fences, power tools, railroad tracks, etc. Unsafe places include: tents, golf carts, underneath trees. Avoid hilltops and open spaces. Where possible, find shelter in a building or in a fully enclosed metal vehicle, such as a car, with the windows shut.
Here’s hoping everyone makes a full recovery!
UPDATE: Here is a more in depth article about the recent spat of lightning strikes nationwide. 17 have been struck in the USA so far this month and seven have died. Be careful out there!