Afternoon thunderstorms bring lightning dangers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Afternoon thunderstorms bring lightning dangers

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –Frequent afternoon thunderstorms in South Georgia bring lightning dangers, and Emergency officials are warning that you need to protect yourself.

About 7 Tuesday night paramedics were called to a home on Colquitt Avenue in Albany because parents were afraid that lightning had struck their 2 year old daughter inside their home. The parents said they saw a flash close to their home, then called 9-1-1 as a precaution. The child was not transported to the hospital.

Firefighters confirm lightning did strike this house on Hardup Road about 5:30 PM, sparking a fire in the attic. No one was home, but fire and smoke were pouring out of that hole blasted through the roof when firefighters arrived, and it took about 20 minutes to bring the fire under control.

Emergency officials say this time of the year you need to keep a close watch on the weather.

Albany Fire Chief and EMA Director James Carswell said "This time of the year our weather pattern consists of thunderstorms. And any time we have these conditions, lightning is a possibility of striking a residence or if you are outside, you as an individual."

If you are inside your home during lightning storms, avoid running water or showering, and stay off the phone. Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. If you are outdoors and can't get inside, take shelter away from trees, poles, or metal objects. Stay low, squatting close to the ground.

More details now, lightning is one of the leading weather-related causes of death in the United States.

You can be struck by lightning even when the center of a thunderstorm is 10 miles away.

Talking on the phone is the leading cause of lightning injuries inside the home.

Also, standing under a tall tree is one of the most dangerous place to be during a storm.

A bolt of lightning can be over five miles long and raise the temperature of the air by as much as 50,000 degrees.

Here's some good news: the odds of being struck by lightning are one in 700,000 each year.

Over the course of your lifetime, your odds shrink to one in 3000.

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