I have never seen lightning hit close. I don't think I would ever want to after hearing about a tree being obliterated by a lightning strike over Memorial Day weekend.

Fans of Louisville Open Space and Parks Facebook page posted a photo showing a tree that was struck on Sunday morning in the Aquarius Open Space in Louisville. The tree was destroyed with such force, that part of the trunk was thrown 75 yards away from where the tree stood.

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Scott Lawless commented on the photo stating what had happened to the tree was an explosion. "The water cells are converted to steam so fast that it blows the tree apart" he explained.

Fire crews worked the scene of the lightning strike to clean up the debris near Empire Road. According to the National Weather Service, nearly a half-million lightning strikes hit the ground in Colorado annually. Colorado ranks 19th in the nation for cloud to ground lightning strikes.

Between the years 1959 - 2019 Colorado ranked fourth for lightning fatalities.

The CDC has a few helpful lightning safety tips for you to follow:

  • Count to 30 after seeing lightning, if you hear thunder before you reach 30, go indoors.
  • Suspend all outdoor activities for at least 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder
  • If no shelter is available, stay low with as little of your body touching the ground as possible.
  • Avoid water during a thunderstorm as lightning can travel through plumbing.
  • Avoid concrete walls and floors.
  • Avoid electronics of all types. Cordless and cell phones are safe to use during a storm.

Source: Fans of Louisville Open Space and Parks Facebook 

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