Man shocked by lightning strike, lives to tell tale - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Man shocked by lightning strike, lives to tell tale

Bill Thompson: Shocked by lightning Bill Thompson: Shocked by lightning
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Experts warn lightning can strike at any moment and one south Georgian found out first-hand.

"A huge bolt of lightning hit about 150-yards from us and when the bolt went away, sparks rained from the sky- from the clouds all the way to the ground," recalled Bill Thompson.

He is President of Bill Thompson Tire Service. He and his fishing partner were on high alert after their close encounter and they were shocked how quickly a second strike followed. 

"All I know is it sounded like the world came down on top of me, and the thunder clapped right on top of us and the lightning bolt at the same time," said Thompson. "You could smell it, and it shocked my left arm all the way to my shoulder."

Looking back on the event, Thompson says he should have taken more action to remain safe.

"If I knew the lightning was going to be that close I would have gotten in the bottom of the boat, that's the only thing you can do if you are in a boat- get as low as possible," said Bill Thompson. 

EMA Director Jim Vaught has a different safety plan for south Georgians who decide to enjoy a day on the lake.

"When a storm comes up you are the highest point and you are most vulnerable to be struck, so the safest thing is to get off the water. Get out of the water and get into a safe shelter," said Vaught.

As severe weather gets active, it is important to plan ahead before you get caught unprepared in a lightning storm.

Copyright 2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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