Lightning only strikes twice-inside

rob333July 19, 2013

What?! This is from jodik's website on the PA woman geting shot in the hospital. What's hot about this? It says "CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta said strikes are becoming increasingly more common." Really? Why? Is it global warming?

The photo is from the artcle, but it's NYC, not Lousiana.

2 struck by lightning -- indoors
Lightning strikes caused 28 deaths in US in 2012
Author: By Zaina Adamu CNN
Published On: Jul 17 2013 06:45:52 PM EDT Updated On: Jul 18 2013 06:07:45 AM EDT
(CNN) -

Weather experts agree: When lightning strikes, it's best to go indoors.

But that advice didn't work for two women in the same Louisiana city who were hurt in lightning incidents about three weeks apart -- one in a grocery store and another in her home.

On Monday, 33-year-old Lakeisha Brooks and her two children took shelter from a storm at a grocery store in Houma, Louisiana.

Brooks said she was driving when the storm got severe so she decided to stop off and get some shopping done until it passed. While checking out her items she heard the thunder getting louder above her, when suddenly she felt a jolt of pain ricochet through her body.

She realized it was lightning when she saw flashes, she said.

"I just felt this pain go right through me," Brooks said. "It happened in a blink of an eye."

The lightning strike caused her right shoe to fly off, leaving a black imprint on her foot where the straps had been. The tile beneath her shattered, leaving blisters on her leg and feet.

The store's assistant manager, Gene Moore, saw the incident. He said the current may have come through the store's fire sprinkler system.

"The lightning knocked off the sprinkler system on the roof," said Moore. "The crackle was so loud. She was stunned."

Houma Police Chief Todd Duplantis says he has never heard of anything like this happening before.

"I've been with the police department for 28 years. I've never responded to a victim struck by lightning (indoors). I've heard of it on the outside, people walking outside, but I've never heard of anyone being struck by lightning while grocery shopping," he told CNN affiliate WWL.

It wasn't a first in Houma, a city of 34,000 about 50 miles southwest of New Orleans.

About three weeks earlier, some two miles from the store where Brooks was hurt, another lightning strike hit Mona Billiot while she was cooking dinner in her kitchen.

"I tried to dodge it," said Billiot. "I was dazed, confused. I felt hot. My heart raced."

In 2012, lightning strikes caused 28 deaths and 139 injuries in the United States, according to the National Weather Service.

CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta said strikes are becoming increasingly more common.

"One in 3,000 people has a chance of being hit by lightning (in a lifetime). Thankfully, very few people die, but it happens a lot more than people realize," he said.

Doctors ran tests on both Brooks and Billiot and say they will be OK.

"I'm just getting to the realization that this happened," Brooks said. "It's taken a toll on me. Each day is a new feeling."

Billiot credits God for her survival and said that, despite the pain, she could not help but appreciate lightning's beauty.

"It's really pretty -- the middle of a lightning bolt," she said. "It's a shimmery, bright blue -- so bright it blinds you."

Copyright 2013 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

.© 2013 © 2011

Here is a link that might be useful: Louisiana lightning strikes

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How bizarre... struck by lightening while inside. I had never heard of this before.

Though, I suppose it's most likely not the first time it's happened... and it won't be the last, I'm sure.

Rather surprising how many people are struck annually, if 2012 could be considered some sort of average.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 5:18PM
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My grandmother was terrified of lightning because she experienced a bolt of it going right through a house she live in probably 100 years ago. She told the story again and again and I have never forgotten.
She also would not burn candles nor permit a fire in the fireplace. Growing up in a wooden house--UP of Michigan--she was intensely aware of how easy it was for a house to burn, plus her oldest sister was born while her mother was on a boat on Lake Michigan while Peshtigo burned (same night as the Chicago Fire) and destroyed her father's lumber business.
I have not thought about all this in years, Rob. Nice to remember all her stories.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 5:59PM
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Wow! Lightening striking people inside sounds like one of my mother's greatest fears. Our house had lightening rods, we had to unplug everything if a storm was coming, definitely get off the phone, having been told lightening can come in through the phone wires, and stay away from windows which apparently were vulnerable to lightening bolts.

This is a great attitude: ""It's really pretty -- the middle of a lightning bolt," she said. "It's a shimmery, bright blue -- so bright it blinds you.""

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 6:42PM
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Several years ago our son who travels a great deal was staying in a large city hotel. Sorry, can't remember which city. He was using the exercise equipment during a thunderstorm, running on the treadmill. Suddenly he experienced a brilliant, powerful, painful flash of lightning that tossed him off the treadmill, leaving him confused, unable to walk or talk. It was very early morning. No other person in sight. So, he painfully crawled to the main reception desk on the same floor unable to tell them what had happened. He declined an ambulance as he was feeling senses returning slowly, which they did and he recovered after several hours. It has always been my guess that the equipment had not been grounded properly and I suspect this may be the cause of inside lightning strikes.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 7:19PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I don't know where the Doctor got his information. There were only 28 deaths in the USA in 2012 from lightning strikes. That is not very many when you consider that world wide the toll is 24,000 a year on average. The number of lightning strikes world wide is staggering but I don't see anything on official sites that claims they are increasing in number.

Part of that is that our infrastructure, homes, businesses etc are designed to mitigate strikes as much as possible and safety features we seldom think of protect us from the worst. The fact is that it is not the strike that usually kills, it is the fire and explosions that it can cause.

It is pretty much impossible to prevent a strike from flashing through conductors such as electrical wiring, metal like water pipe, steel used in structures, telephone lines, trees and on and on. It can jump amazing distances from something that carries the flash to something that is also a conductor. The ground is a conductor. You can be affected by a strike a good distance away, especially if the ground is wet.

Electronics are especially vulnerable. The very first computer I got in after becoming "your local authorized repair person" had been affected by lightning that struck outside the owners office. The outside of the case looked pristine. The inside looked like it was the inside of a slag furnace. Solder melted, boiled and ran, chips either blew off their tops or contorted into odd shapes as they tried to escape the motherboard. Condensers exploded. Some parts couldn't be identified. It was very impressive.

During a storm, don't talk on the phone, unplug computers, don't shower or bathe. Avoid touching metal. Check out some of the NOAA sites for information and advice.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 5:54AM
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Well, we don't go through any rituals prior to storms, and if truth be told, we rather revel in mother nature's power and beauty. Neither of us are afraid of death or dying, and I suppose that would include being struck by lightning. We don't even head toward a basement during bad storms.

All of our computer equipment remains plugged in to quality battery backup units made to protect against surges and lightning strikes, standard fare for us, and our computers are never shut off... unless rebooting for a specific reason.

During the last storm with lightning, I was power washing the kennel, which uses water... it's not the tallest building or object in the area, not that there would be reason for it to attract lightning, so I have little fear of being struck.

I've never been a panicky sort of person, given over to fears regarding mother nature's power or any paranoid fear of death or dying, so life goes on pretty much as usual during any storm... unless you account for the fact that we do close windows against the rain.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 6:14AM
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I'm pretty much like you, Jodi, and don't worry about this really at all. But I did like being reminded of my grandmother's stories.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 6:24AM
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Oh yes, Pidge... lightning is really beautiful, and comes with great power... we enjoy watching storms as they roll in and pass over, marveling at the patterns lightning makes when lighting up the sky as it does.

But I haven't harbored any fear of these natural occurrences since being a child. My Dad would sit with us during storms and explain the various parts of a storm... why it rains, where thunder and lightning come from, how tornadoes form, etc... with more understanding came less fear. Weather is rather interesting, I think.

We don't run around unplugging everything, though, nor do we stay off the phone or stay away from doing anything that requires water use. We don't avoid metal, or do anything different during storms.

My parents' house was struck once... it turned their tv screen into rice sized pieces of glass and fried the electronic portion of it.

We also had a tree struck many years ago, and the charge from the lightning traveled over to where a bulldog was housed and killed the dog. He'd been the only dog to stand outside his house and bark at the storm. A freak occurrence.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 7:59AM
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Jodi, something similar happened when I was a kid. Lightning struck a towering evergreen that was maybe 20' feet from the house and killed my grandmother's canary which was in a cage on the porch. No wonder she didn't like lightning.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 9:08AM
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art_1(10 CA)

"June ... extended the unbroken string of warmer-than-average months to 340, or a stretch of more than 28 years ... The planet has not recorded a single month with temperatures below the 20th century average since February 1985, when the cult classic film “The Breakfast Club” was released, and the last year with a cooler-than-average June was in 1976." - Record Heat in June Extends Globe’s Streak to 340 Months

Bigger storms ahead
With global warming, a study finds, tropical cyclones may become more frequent and intense.

Katrina-level storm surges have more than doubled due to global warming

What is the count, vgkg?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 5:25PM
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david52 Zone 6

I was staying in a metal-roofed house along the coast that was hit by lightening - it was either the house or the electrical pole / transformer in the yard, as if anybody could tell the difference.

Blew out the transformer - smoking. Popped nails out of the east half the roof. Fried - as in smoke coming from the motors - the fridge and three air conditioners and the fax machine had flames coming from it. Blew every light bulb and fuse in the house.

Thats without a doubt the loudest thing I've ever heard. I was resting on a wooden/foam cushion sofa, feet off the ground, and didn't feel a thing.

/scared the bejabers.....

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 6:25PM
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I have had several experiences with lightening-Like several here I never had any fear in spite of once while I was visiting my grandmother in Mississippi I was standing in the door watching the storm, I turned over to the sofa to sit and a ball of lightening came in the door, whizzed through the room and went up the chimney-seconds... but much worse was having my house struck and hearing the bees-there is a loud buzzing sound when you are within the strike, the fan over my head started spinning around...the chimney(easy access with the house gone) had its antique bricks fired into blue glass all down one side. I did some research and learned there is nothing in a house to protect you per say, there are caves with the glass artifacts(cant remember the name for them) from strikes way under ground-but modern houses are usually well grounded and a strike goes to ground. I was treated to numerous stories after my house burned-beds set on fire, drywall nails popped out, holes burnt in curtains etc. 6 other houses burnt down in the intense storm that took my house, and one was sliced in half like butter with a hot knife. Storms make me nervous now.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 9:35PM
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Storms have always captured my attention in a good way. They are awesome in the truest sense of the word. Just recently I came across something I'd never heard of before....Lichtenberg figures. They are the scars on lightning strike victims. I was fascinated that they were shaped like the lightning bolts themselves.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lichtenberg figures

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 10:31PM
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Surge protectors protect against spikes or surges in line voltage but not a direct lightning strike that hits a homes electrical system. That pretty much is going to fry anything that is plugged in.

Here is a link that might be useful: Surge protectors and Lightning

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 11:04PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Evenshade, those are lovely ...and a bit scary. Jody, I love storms too. However there is a difference between finding them exciting and respecting them. One memory I will never forget from childhood was the image of a lineman frozen to the wires he was working on when the transformer was hit by a bolt 20 minutes before the storm hit. It took hours to get the body down.

Hope your luck holds. There are very few deaths here, mostly thanks to building regulations but nerve damage and convulsions are not so rare. Just don't go under any trees.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 11:16PM
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Here, in the Midwest, with most land being rather flat in comparison to other hilly, mountainous areas of the nation, most rural buildings, like barns and 2 or 3 story farm houses, are all equipped with lightning rods running to a ground as standard fare.

While I wouldn't grab a golf putter and go stand on the highest point of our property holding it up toward the sky during a storm, neither would I really change my routine or harbor any unnatural fear of thunderstorms.

The chance that I would be struck by lightning is slim. But if I were, by chance, then so be it. Mother Nature is the one thing I can only manipulate a little bit, but I can't control what she does.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 10:46AM
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(((pidge))) that is fantastic!

So it's not really any global warming issue? Whew. I'm surprised. It did make sense since weather is becoming more severe in so many ways. I never thought about PVC plumbing easing that worry some. Good to know, except my current home is old enough, it like has the older plumbing. I actually looked this article up because I decided to grin and bear what looked like one hiccup on the horizon on the way home on Sunday. Sure, my drive through the storm lasted for 5 minutes or so, but it was torrential! And the 2nd loudest boom of thunder I can remember. It scared the living daylights out of me, and I felt like it was dang close to my head. I'd heard that you can't be struck in a car, but I also found out that's wrong. It's not grounded enough. You can be struck.

But like jodik says, you'll either get hurt or you won't. We can't manipulate it or avoid it 100%.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 1:41PM
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I've spent a whole lot of time hiking and playing in the woods all my life. As a kid it was my playground. As an adult, there was a time that, every weekend, I'd be backpacking. EVERY weekend. Me and the postman: Neither rain,nor snow nor sleet nor gloom of night...

I've been out in the woods at least three times, maybe more, when I'd be caught in a thunder storm and water would be running down the trail I was walking. BOOM!!! I'd feel a jolt of electricity running though my soaking wet feet.

Shock treatment for the feet? I do have Happy Feet.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:26AM
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The energy produced by lightning is conducive to plant growth... this I know, though I'm not entirely certain of the details surrounding "why" or "how".

I always consider a good storm to be Mother Nature's way of pruning dead limbs from trees, helping plants to shed the extra material they don't need, etc...

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:38AM
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Jodi, lightening fixes nitrogen ...

Here is a link that might be useful: wikipedia

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 11:18AM
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did it make you dance hay?


    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 11:44AM
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Well, actually thunderstorms are global warming related in that there are more thunderstorms in a warmer, more humid atmosphere (Florida, case in point). I guess statistically, if there are more storms, there is more potential to have something freaky happen.

No, we don't panic here, but I do unplug my computer. Last year, my mac (plugged in to a surge protector), died overnight during a heavy thunderstorm. Eventually was able to have the visual fixed but the audio was lost on it.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 12:04PM
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