Recognizing the dangers of lightning

Afternoon thunderstorms and the frequent lightning that comes with them can rattle nerves. It can also damage buildings, fry electronics, and sometimes even kill.

Lightning can be beautiful, but there’s real danger behind that flash.

“Every thunderstorm produces lightning but some are more proficient at producing the lightning than others,” said Don Sheppard with the National Weather Service.

Storms like the ones that rocked our area June 10 with thousands of strikes. As summer takes hold these storms will only grow more frequent. But just because they’re common doesn’t mean you can ignore them.

Consider this; sharks caused a big scare last weekend in Orange Beach, enough so that large stretches of coast were closed to swimmers.

On average sharks kill five people every year worldwide. Lightning kills 50 people every year in the U.S. Alone.

“Statistically lightning is a bigger problem than sharks ever will be at the beach. Behind rip currents, lightning is the main killer,” said Sheppard.

“Lightning and golf doesn’t go together,” said Jimmy Green, General Manager of Heron Lakes Country Club. He is well aware of lightning’s danger. The club has a detection system so they can keep folks safe.

“We’ll go out and sound a big air horn that goes all over the golf course and then we’ll have employees that will go out and warn people,” Green told FOX10.

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