Lightning Strike Hits Man in Jackson County

By: WJHG
By: WJHG

WJHG in JACKSON COUNTY-- Florida is known as the lightning capital of the United States. Lightning strikes in Jackson County Monday night helped prove that true. One of the lightning bolts hit a vehicle traveling on 1-10 in Grand Ridge.

A lightning strike Monday night sent one man driving through Jackson County to the hospital. The driver is okay, but the bolt fried his truck's electrical system.

"To happen with a moving vehicle, it happens,” said Jackson County Fire and Rescue Chief. “I've heard of it a couple times in my career, but its not something that's very frequent."

But when it hits - "There's not much you can do, because you're in a car , you know they say you're somewhat insulated. If you can hear the thunder and see the lightning, it's pretty much too late," explained Jackson County Emergency Management Director Rodney Andreasen.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the chances of getting hit by lightning is 1 in 500,000

Birge says its best to seek shelter to completely get out of the storm, but says if you must travel it is safe, but your vehicle could still be struck by lightning.

"Certainly the vehicle could be struck, but it should because its in contact with the ground, it should ground out to the ground as far as the electrical charge is concerned,” he explained.

So how can you avoid a lightning strike?

"So when you see that we're gonna have some bad weather like that, the best thing that you can do to prepare for that is if you know its coming you don't need to get out in it," explained Andreasen.

Monday night's thunderstorms started at about 6 and lasted until 10.

The storm also caused some downed trees in Jackson County, which have since been cleaned up.


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