Evening storms spew dangerous lightning

- Florida is the lightning capital of the United States, and the last couple of days, we’ve seen our fair share. On Tuesday we recorded more than 1,000 strikes in the Bay Area alone.

Lightning kills an average of 49 people in the United States each year, and hundreds more are severely injured. So far this year, 9 people have been killed by lightning strikes, including a 47-year-old man from Manatee County. According to the National Weather Service, Fleuridor Kercizan was loading a truck at Falkner Farm when he was hit.

Firefighters say lightning most likely sparked house fires in Palma Ceia and Clearwater Tuesday night. In addition, Temple Terrace Fire officials suspect lightning may have also caused an apartment to smolder, leaving the resident displaced.

Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year. Although most lightning occurs in the summer, people can be struck at any time of year.

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