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Arizona Man Hit by Lightning


Monsoon clouds often bring lightning and thunder with rain

Sedona AZ (August 17, 2014) On Saturday, August 10, 2014, at about 4:00 in the afternoon, a Coconino County Sheriff’s Office deputy assigned to the Forest Lakes Community and the Forest Lakes Fire Department was dispatched to the Spillway Campground at Woods Canyon Lake after receiving a call that an adult male had been struck by lightning.

On scene, the emergency first responders found a 41-year-old man of Queen Creek, Arizona suffering from a lightning strike to his upper torso in the area of his right shoulder. The lightning had exited the victim’s body through his big toes.

Medical personnel immediately began life saving efforts for the seriously injured man. Due to the inclement weather, including heavy rain and hail, air evacuation of the victim was not a safe option. He was taken to the Payson Regional Hospital by ground ambulance and was subsequently transported to the Maricopa Burn Center.

The victim, his wife, and two children were at Woods Canyon Lake for a day of fishing when a large monsoon storm front moved over the area. According to witnesses, the man lifted a metal framed camp chair over his head for cover which was followed quickly by a bolt of lightning that struck him and a tree close by.

At press time, the victim was reported in good condition.

Be aware of the dangers that come with monsoons. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and the US Forest Service want visitors to enjoy their time in the forests and encourage visitors to “Know Before You Go.”

Lightning: What You Need to Know

NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area. If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you. When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter such as a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with its windows up.

Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

Last Resort Outdoor Risk Reduction Tips

If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby, the following actions may reduce your risk:

  • Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks
  • Never lie flat on the ground
  • Never shelter under an isolated tree
  • Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter
  • Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water
  • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc).

Forecast weather conditions can be found at the National Weather Service webpage www.nws.noaa.gov/.

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For the best Arizona news and views, read www.SedonaEye.com daily!

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