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Lightning: Dangers and Precautions

Jeff Orrock of the National Weather Service in Wakefield, Virginia talks with 88.9 WCVE’s Charles Fishburne about the dangers of lightning and precautions to take.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that from 2006 through 2013, 261 people were struck and killed by lightning in the United States, almost two-thirds of them were enjoying outdoor leisure activities. But it was not golfers who were most often victims. Fishermen accounted for more than three times as many fatalities as golfers, while camping and boating each accounted for twice as many.

Seventy percent of the lightning deaths occurred in the months of June, July and August. Jeff Orrock, Chief Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Wakefield, says the best rule to follow is when you hear rumbling, seek shelter if you are at the beach, in open water or an exposed location. He says a lightning bolt can streak out six miles from the storm, and by the time you hear the storm coming, you are already in a potentially risky situation.

For more information on lightning: Severe Weather 101

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