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Wednesday, July 15, 2020
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Colorado Lightning Safety Awareness Week
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“When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!”

Lightning strikes the ground in the state of Colorado about a half million times each year. Unfortunately, 2 to 3 people in Colorado are struck and killed each year, with a dozen or so being injured. With many of us participating in outdoor activities, we need to learn how to reduce our risk from the lightning threat.

Lightning in Colorado is most common in the summer months, but can be a hazard throughout the year. And although nearly all lightning victims are struck outdoors, lightning can pose a threat to those indoors as well.

All thunderstorms produce potentially deadly and destructive lightning. Knowing lightning is in the forecast and being prepared to react to the first sound of thunder are the initial key safety steps.

If you are outdoors and see darkening skies or hear thunder, immediately seek safe shelter. A safe shelter is a well-constructed building, such as a home, store, church or school. An enclosed automobile is also an excellent safe shelter. Do not seek shelter in “open” buildings, such as a picnic shelters, baseball dugouts, patios, porches, tents, barns or garages. These structures are not safe during lightning activity.

Don’t wait for rain to start falling to seek safe shelter — by then it could be too late. Lightning causalities frequently occur either before the rain begins or soon after the rain ends. It is best to wait at least 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder before returning outside.

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The Greenhorn Valley View is a weekly newspaper serving the communities of the Greenhorn Valley in Southern Colorado,
including Colorado City, Rye, San Isabel, Beulah and Hatchet Ranch.

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