September 22, 2014

Weather radios lessen lightning risk

A reminder of the risks posed by lightning, as a young boy was burned when he was struck by lightning in the Wausau area this week. “Since 2006, 64 percent of lightning deaths occurred when people were doing outdoor recreational activities,” said Tod Pritchard with Wisconsin Emergency Management. “Topping the list is fishing.”

Pritchard said technology – in the form of portable weather radios – can make people safer when they’re outdoors. “Stick them in your boat or car, they can really be a life saver,” he said.

Pritchard adds that it’s important to remember that lightning can travel a long way. “Thunderstorms, even if you’re tracking them on radar, lightning can travel an extraordinary distance away from the major cell of a storm.” he said.

The 8 year-old boy was struck by lightning while sitting on a motorcycle in Rib Mountain on Wednesday. He’s hospitalized and there’s no word on his condition.