The danger of lightning

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Have you ever heard, or maybe used yourself, the phrase "It's just a thunderstorm"? While it may be just a thunderstorm as you continue on with indoor plans, those outdoors need to be very aware and change plans accordingly.

Lightning strikes faster than you can blink. A single lightning bolt can be up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, carry several million volts of electricity and occur even without much rain falling. Just yesterday, we had a building in Jones Country struck by lightning, starting a fire.

Lightning-related fatalities have thankfully dropped over the years. Success is likely related to outreach programs as well as overall awareness and education. Any age group can be struck by lightning.

Most lightning-related fatalities occur while doing everyday activities such as cycling, gardening, camping or even walking. Men are about four times more likely to be struck than women.

As storm season continues in Iowa, please be aware of the dangers of lightning. Suspend ball games, swimming, concerts and other outdoor events until the danger has passed. It's not worth the risk. When thunder roars, go indoors!