Officials: It is peak season for lightning strikes, stay aware

It is 'Lightning Safety Week' and the National Weather Service is urging folks to prepare and stay aware.

There are many components to severe thunderstorms, but officials say lightning is one of the most dangerous.

Pikeville Public Safety Director, Paul Maynard says, "During severe weather season you want to be aware of your situation and surroundings, check your daily forecast."

Officials say planning ahead and being weather aware are key to staying safe. They say the number one tip when it comes to lightning safety, is that if possible get indoors immediately when you hear thunder...even if you don't see any rain or lightning.

Maynard explains, "You may hear thunder, and not see the lightning bolt but if you can hear thunder you are in any point thunder is audible lightning could strike anywhere at any time."

Once indoors, officials say avoid electrical cords and devices, corded telephones, and power outlets. Maynard adds, "People don't think about don't want to be around plumbing at this time either."

Firefighters say one of the biggest myths about lightning, is not true.

Lieutenant Patrick Bentley, with the Pikeville Fire Department says, "They say lightning cant strike twice...but it can!"

Even though officials say lightning strikes are few and far between, folks should always be aware of its presence and power.

Lt. Bentley says, "It has been years since we have had an incident due to lightning, but it can happen and it is going to happen and only God knows when it is going to happen."

If you can't get indoors, officials say get in a ditch and wait out the storm.

Officials say you should wait at least 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder before going back outdoors because there is still electricity in the air that can produce lightning.

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