Man Struck By Lightning in Charlotte During Severe Thunderstorms

via Lewis Norman
via Lewis Norman

A Charlotte man is now recovering at the Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center after being struck by lightning late Thursday night.

He was hit hit at about 8:40pm near the intersection of Freedom Drive and I-85 in West Charlotte, according to Medic:


It happened during Charlotte’s severe thunderstorms 2 nights ago that produced hundreds of lightning strikes, heavy winds, and driving rain throughout our city.

The lightning strike brought back the memory of two Charlotte teenagers that were struck by lightning last year.

Lightning strikes have been on the rise across the country as both thunderstorms and population numbers are on the rise.

The National Weather Service recently published some myths corresponding facts that many people have about lightning to try to increase safety during storms:

Myth: If you’re caught outside during a thunderstorm, you should crouch down to reduce your risk of being struck.
Fact: Crouching doesn’t make you any safer outdoors. Run to a substantial building or hard topped vehicle. If you are too far to run to one of these options, you have no good alternative. You are NOT safe anywhere outdoors.

Myth: Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
Fact: Lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly, especially if it’s a tall, pointy, isolated object. The Empire State Building is hit an average of 23 times a year

Myth: Rubber tires on a car protect you from lightning by insulating you from the ground.
Fact: Most cars are safe from lightning, but it is the metal roof and metal sides that protect you, NOT the rubber tires. Remember, convertibles, motorcycles, bicycles, open-shelled outdoor recreational vehicles and cars with fiberglass shells offer no protection from lightning. When lightning strikes a vehicle, it goes through the metal frame into the ground. Don’t lean on doors during a thunderstorm.

Myth: If outside in a thunderstorm, you should seek shelter under a tree to stay dry.
Fact: Being underneath a tree is the second leading cause of lightning casualties. Better to get wet than fried!

Myth: If you are in a house, you are 100% safe from lightning.
Fact: A house is a safe place to be during a thunderstorm as long as you avoid anything that conducts electricity. This means staying off corded phones, electrical appliances, wires, TV cables, computers, plumbing, metal doors and windows. Windows are hazardous for two reasons: wind generated during a thunderstorm can blow objects into the window, breaking it and causing glass to shatter and second, in older homes, in rare instances, lightning can come in cracks in the sides of windows.

Myth: If it’s not raining or there aren’t clouds overhead, you’re safe from lightning.
Fact: Lightning often strikes more than three miles from the center of the thunderstorm, far outside the rain or thunderstorm cloud. “Bolts from the blue” can strike 10-15 miles from the thunderstorm.

Portable lightning detectors are the only sure-fire way of knowing when lightning strikes are close-by, even if you can’t see any clouds or rain.

Click here to see the full list of myths and facts.