Lightning: Louisiana Severe Weather Awareness Day 4

Lightning: Louisiana Severe Weather Awareness Day 4
NBC33 Staff
Weather Talk

POSTED: Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 12:00pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 12:04pm

Louisiana's "Severe Weather Awareness Week" is this week, February 17-21. The National Weather Service in New Orleans will choose a topic to focus on and prepare you for any upcoming severe weather that heads toward south Louisiana.

Today's topic is "Lightning." 

Lightning is the third greatest storm-related killer in the United States and causes nearly $1 billion in damages each year. Over the past 10 years, on average, lightning has directly killed about 37 people per year in the U.S.. and indirectly killed about a dozen more due to fires caused by lightning.

When a thunderstorm approaches, bringing lightning, there is no safe place to be outside. If you are close enough to hear thunder, then you are close enough to be struck by lightning. Seek shelter indoors immediately.

When indoors, avoid contact with electrical equipment and plumbing. Stay away from window and doors. If lightning strikes the building you're inside, it can travel through the wires and pipes to the ground. Remain there for 30 minutes after the last lightning or thunder.   

If your home is struck by lightning, the National Weather Service recommends the following:

  • Evacuate your home immediately if you see fire or smoke and call 911
  • Call your local fire department and, if possible, have them check for hot spots in your walls with thermal imaging equipment
  • Make sure all smoke detectors are powered and operating properly
  • If needed, have a licensed electrician check the wiring in your home

No lightning or injuries were recorded in the southeast Louisiana in 2013. However, similar to 2011, lightning produced the only direct weather related severe weather fatalities in Southeast Louisiana during 2012.

Two fisherman were fatally injured when lightning struck a tree next to a small structure they had sought refuge during a thunderstorm south of Ponchatoula. Click here to read the story from April 2013.

Check the latest forecast at www.nbc33tv.com/weather.

Click here to see yesterday's topic "Tornadoes."

Follow Meteorologist Kyle Myers at www.facebook.com/weathermanmyers.   

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