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Arkansas, Desha

Public Information Statement

Statement as of 6:00 AM CST on March 05, 2015


... Todays topic for severe weather awareness week is
lightning...

Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson has proclaimed the week of
March 1st through 7th as severe weather awareness week
in Arkansas.

A different topic will be discussed each day... and todays topic
is lightning.

Lightning is a hazard in all thunderstorms... whether they are
severe or not. In the last 30 years... lightning was the
third deadliest thunderstorm hazard behind flash floods
and tornadoes. There are an average of 50 fatalities a year
due to lightning across the country.

In Arkansas in 2014... lightning was responsible for 2 deaths
and 10 injuries.

Most lightning deaths and injuries occur in the Summer /June...
July and August/ when people are outdoors.

If a person is struck by lightning... that persons body will not
retain any electrical charge. Thus... the injured person can and
should be cared for immediately.

Lightning can strike as much as 10 miles away from a thunderstorm
cloud. Given this... it is no surprise that most lightning deaths
occur as a thunderstorm is approaching or moving away... and not
necessarily overhead.

Lightning tends to strike tall objects. The air is a poor conductor
of electricity... so lightning will often go the shortest distance
to make a connection from cloud to ground.

Statistics show that Arkansas is a top 10 state as far as lightning
activity. From 2004 through 2013... the state was ranked 6th
nationally for lightning strikes /more than 850000 cloud-to-ground
lightning flashes per year/.

... Some lightning safety rules...

Remember... it is lightning that causes thunder. If you can hear
thunder... you are in danger from lightning. Go indoors immediately.
A hard-top car is also a safe place. Keep the windows rolled
up and do not touch metal inside the vehicle.

Do not take shelter in small sheds or under isolated trees. Stay
away from higher elevations spots such as hilltops... and avoid nearby
poles and towers.

Move away from chain-link fences and other metal fences such as
those around ballparks and playgrounds.

Motorcycles... scooters... bicycles... and farm tractors are not
safe places.

If you are in the water... get out immediately. If you are in a
boat... head toward safe Harbor.

Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity... so
do not use electrical appliances or corded phones. Computers and
other expensive electronic equipment may be damaged by power surges.
You may consider unplugging these items.

Stay out of the bathtub or shower.

Get off The Golf Course.

&&

For a list of all the tornadoes and other significant weather
events that occurred in 2014...

http://www.Srh.NOAA.Gov/images/lzk/pdf/stormsof2014.Pdf


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