Staying Safe in a Thunderstorm

By: Kitty Capelle
By: Kitty Capelle

One of nature's most deadly weather experiences is lightning. This a story of someone who nearly got struck by lightning and how you can protect yourself during a thunderstorm.

Lightning can strike an airplane, your car, your house and even you.

Angie Buchanan lives in Swoope and has had several close calls with lightning. One of the first times was when she realized her windows were open while it was raining.

"Ran over to shut the window, and lighting came down and hit the ground, scared me to death," said Buchanan.

The next encounter she had with lighting, she felt it.

"Lighting came down and hit the ground six or seven feet away from me. It was actually the prettiest thing I've ever seen, but the scariest thing I've ever felt. I actually felt something, I cant explain it, it was weird. Like a vibration or something," said Buchanan.

Buchanan said when she saw the lighting, it was the brightest shade of neon pink, but it made the most awful sound.

“I've never heard lighting make that noise before, it was so loud it deafened you," said Buchanan.

In the last 53 years, there have been more than 24 lighting deaths in West Virginia and 66 in the state of Virginia. Injuries or deaths from lightning happen more frequently on open fields, ball parks and golf courses or when people take shelter under trees.

Buchanan knows the steps to take to prevent being struck by lightning.

"And with the kids, we tell them stay away from windows, don't touch the sink because it's metal," said Buchanan.

Don't use anything that uses electricity during a lightning storm.

This entire week is lightning safety awareness week. This is because the highest number of thunderstorms in the county is in June, July and August. That's also when most people are enjoying outdoor activities.

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