Lighting in the forecast? If you’re in one particular Georgia county, better run for cover.
Data compiled by the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute at the University of South Carolina show Gwinnett County, along with Georgia counties near Mobile, Alabama; Tampa, Florida; Miami; and Dallas, is the most susceptible county in Georgia to lightning strikes.
From 1959 to 2009, there were 87 lightning events in Gwinnett that caused more than $10 million in property damage, according to the data.
Surrounding areas totaled far fewer events. Within the same time period, there were 11 events in DeKalb County, 39 in Cobb County and 25 in Fulton County.
Nationally, Georgia ranks 13th for fatalities caused by lightning, with 109 deaths recorded between 1959 and 2011, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Florida is highest on the list, followed by Texas, North Carolina, Ohio and Colorado.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security recommends seeking shelter and avoiding electrical appliances during severe storms. Click here for other safety tips.