Orlando – Florida is known to be very active when it comes to thunderstorm activity packing a lot of lightning. In a recent Vaisala report, Four Corners saw 1,229 lightning events per square mile in 2022, the highest density of lightning of any community in the country.
According to the National Lightning Safety Council, in 2022 there were 19 lightning fatalities across the nation, four of those happened in Florida, and all four of those incidents happened right here in Central Florida.
The incidents happened in New Smyrna Beach, Winter Springs, and two in Orlando.
The first incident occurred on July 19, 2022, when a 27-year-old man was struck while trimming trees in the Tymber Trace community. Julio Cesar Lopez was given a 10% chance of living with his injuries. He passed away four days later.
On Aug. 18, a mother died and her child and another 18-year-old woman were hurt after a lightning strike in Winter Springs. Nicole Tedesco and 10-year-old Ava were taken to a hospital. The mother later died from her injuries.
Less than a month later on Sept. 15, five students from various area schools were practicing rowing on Lake Fairview when struck by lightning, leaving their vessel capsized, according to the Orlando Fire Department. One of the young students’ bodies was found in the lake the following evening. The other student was placed on life support but later passed away.
Not everyone who is struck by lightning is hit directly. In fact, a direct strike is not as common as others but is potentially the most deadly. Read more about the different ways lightning can strike and the long-term impacts it can have on those that survive by clicking here.
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