Selected Incidents from the
"It Can't Happen to Me" Library
Source: National Weather Service "Storm Data" Statistics
A 26-year old male prison guard was injured while working outdoors
at the Sumter Correctional Institute. Rain had just begun falling and
the first lightning strike observed hit a fence and ricocheted 15 to 20
feet into the guard knocking him down.
Lightning struck and killed a 24-year old man while he was playing
golf. Two of his companions were knocked down but not injured.
Four people were struck by lightning, two injured seriously, at a golf
course in the Long Island Community about 3 miles northeast of Bridgeport.
The people were taken by Life Force helicopter to Erlanger Hospital in
Chattanooga. The four had been playing golf when it began raining, and
they were standing under a tree at the number 5 green.
Two golfers were struck by lightning in a golf cart. They were
hospitalized in critical condition.
A 34-year old little league coach was killed by a lightning strike
while on the field.
A group of people who had just finished a canoeing trip were standing
along the bank of a river in southwest Louisiana when lightning struck
a nearby tree. The electrical charge jumped to the group and injured
six persons, with one reported in serious condition.
A man was critically hurt by a lightning strike while walking on Haulover
A 29-year old man and a 14-year old child were struck by lightning
at a rodeo in Lawrence Township and hospitalized. Two horses were
also struck and killed by lightning.
A 28-year old man suffered minor injuries and temporary blindness
when lightning struck just outside the window from which he was
viewing a thunderstorm.
Lightning killed a 31-year old male and injured a 22-year old female
as they were jogging.
Lightning struck close to a garage where a 23-year old man was
working on a metal table. The man felt a numbness and was taken
to the hospital.
Lightning struck and caused minor damage to the Westside day care
center. The lightning entered the center through the air conditioning
system and followed the duct work through the house. As the electricity
passed through the house, it sought a ground near a closet and made a
pencil thin hole in the sheetrock as it went to a metal clothes rod.
The lightning hit clothes, hangers, ran through the pipe then jumped through
another wall and into another closet. Damage from the lightning was confined
to burnt clothes in the two closets.
Lightning struck twice and damaged the Excelsior EMC headquarters
office in Metter. The lightning damaged radio equipment and the control
board to a backup generator.
A lightning strike traveled along phone lines and ruined several
pieces of equipment and damaged others in the Barrow County Detention
Center, county courthouse, Winder City hall, Police Department, Fire Department
and legal offices. The power surge associated with the lightning damaged
the main frame computer, several printers, telephones and monitors of
the Winder municipal offices.
Firefighters, on the way to another blaze, witnessed lightning striking
a home at Czar Place Road in Riverdale. Firefighters noted that lightning
struck the house then raced down the telephone wire connected to the house.
Only minor damage was reported.
Lightning started a grass fire near Canon City which burned for
about two days.
Lightning caused 10 acres of hillside trees and vegetation to burn
before the fire was contained.
A 56-year-old man was killed by lightning just south of Eagle Grove in
Wright County. He and his 54-year-old wife were riding a motorcycle
and had stopped to put on their rain gear. Lightning struck the man
in the head, striking his helmet. The secondary strike hit his
wife. They were taken to the hospital. He was in critical condition
and subsequently died. She was in fair condition.
In Ottumwa, lightning struck a church steeple, knocking it down
and causing about $5,000 in damage.
Lightning struck on a farm northwest of Dyersville. Five cows were
killed by the lightning strike.
Lightning struck a tree under which six pregnant cows and a heifer
were standing. All of the cows were killed.
Twenty-four head of cattle were struck and killed by lightning
while standing under a tree. Lightning in West plains also caused
power outages and one minor fire to a roof.
A rancher discovered six head of cattle killed by lightning.
Lightning striking a tree next to a home in Park Township destroyed
electrical equipment and appliances in the home and caused minor injuries
to a child who suffered mouth burns from her braces.
Two tree trimmers were thrown four feet after their equipment
was hit by lightning. Injuries were minor.
A man cleaning out a storm drain during a thunderstorm was struck
by lightning and thrown across the road. He was treated by a local
hospital for minor injuries.
Lightning struck a van that was being towed by a wrecker at the
intersection of Georgia Highway 19 and I-16. The driver of the wrecker
was slightly injured from the lightning strike. The van received only
minor paint damage from the lightning strike.
A lightning strike in Bonita Springs hit a car antenna, melting it
and blowing a hole in the car. Three occupants of the car were uninjured.
Numerous other lightning strikes started brush fires.
Lightning struck and burned a historic barn in the city of Frederick
at the School for the Deaf.
Lightning struck a barn full of hay at the Shamrock Farm near
Winfield for the second time in 10 days. The barn burned to the ground.
Lightning struck in two places at the Normandy Farms Campgrounds
including one strike that crashed through the roof of the recreation center.
Another struck one or more trees and traveled through the ground beneath
the feet of people holding onto aluminum tent poles or standing in water.
Twelve campers were taken to area hospitals, and ten others were treated
for injuries at the scene.
Seven persons were struck and injured by lightning in Lower Oxford Township
while attending a family reunion. Lightning apparently struck
a tree and then bounced from it to the party tent under which they
Lightning struck the central office tower at the Monroeville Telephone
Company leaving thousands without telephone service and causing about
$60,000 in damage.
Lightning killed two women and injured one man in separate incidents.
A 42-year-old man was injured in Ricketts State Park when lightning struck
a tent he was hiding in . Lightning entered through his right shoulder
and exited through his right foot. Farther southeast in Moon Lake
park in Plymouth Township two women were struck and killed by lightning
while taking shelter under a pavilion. Lightning also split two
of the pavilion's six support posts. One woman was so badly struck that
she received third degree burns over 35% of her body, had two quarters
fused in her pocket and the zipper to her jeans was melted.
Lightning hit a tree then ricocheted onto the roof of a house igniting
a fire which gutted the attic and resulted in major water damage to
the first and second floors of the house.
A women was struck by lightning as she reached from her van to an
automatic teller machine. The ATM was severely damaged.
A Skowhegan man was injured by lightning as he stood barefoot on the
wet cement floor of his garage.
A person talking on a cordless telephone in the living room of
her house was slightly injured by a lightning strike.
Lightning struck near a home on Helican Mountain in the eastern part
of the county and injured a woman who was holding onto the door of