Lightning Safety Week is special for this man - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lightning Safety Week is special for this man

CORDELE, GA (WALB) -

Summer weather brings storms and lightning that can create serious damage. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency is using this week as a lightning safety week.

They want people to realize that storms are close enough to cause damage if you can see and hear them. Not many people know that quite like Harold Payne.

Payne has repaired roofs for 35 years. Last May, he thought he was beating a storm, but a lightning strike got him first. 

"Everything was just black, and when I came to, I was thinking, I got to get down this ladder, if I don't I'm going to fall," said Harold Payne.

The lightning strike hit off a tree and ran down the roof Payne was working on. It fried his finger tips, burnt his elbow, and blew a hole in his leg.

"They were hollering, lightning struck you, lightning struck you, get down, get down, and I couldn't. I was just froze to the ladder."

Payne eventually got down and was taken to the hospital. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency is using Lightning Safety Week to teach people how to avoid this.

The agency says you should: find shelter in a sturdy building, stay away from showers, unplug appliances, and go to a low-lying place if you are caught outside.

You should also avoid going outside for thirty minutes every time lightning is seen or thunder is heard.

Payne has one message to people.

"There's nothing that important that you've got to stay out in it. No matter what the circumstances, a job's not worth it, a golf game's not worth it, nothing. If you can hear it or see it, get out of it."

Payne is one of the lucky victims who can tell the story about being struck by lightning, and he realizes that quite often.

"Just to be here and talk about it is a blessing. How many people do you know that got struck by lightning and is here to talk about it?

Payne says he is glad the good Lord was with him on that stormy day.

Copyright 2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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