July is one of the busiest and most dangerous months for lighting, but many people still spend time outside during storms here at the beach.
The National Weather Service reports so far this year there have been 14 deaths; two of them in North Carolina
Friday evening, lightning storms rolled up the coast along the Grand Strand.
But that did not stop beach goers.
‘It’s starting to drizzle, the clouds were really dark, and lightning was starting to come,” said Geniqua King.
King and her little sisters are from Conway.
Even though they live nearby they say they do not get to the beach as much as they would like and that is why they decided to weather the storm.
But they were not the only ones out there.
“It’s all far in the distance. We haven’t seen any this way yet so we’re just hanging around,” said Stacy Heninger.
Thursday on the Surfside Beach Pier, dozens of people were out during another storm.
So what is the risk?
“If you hear the thunder, you’re close enough to get struck by lightning,” said News 13 Chief Meteorologist Frank Johnson.
It may seem very unlikely, but lightning strikes regularly and does damage
At 3pm Friday, there were 410 lightning strikes recorded in our area.
Thursday during the storm, at around 9pm there were 1,071.
This week Mount Zion A.M.E. Church in Greeleyville made national headlines when lightning hit
The best and most obvious and burned the building.
Last Friday, Horry County Fire Rescue was called to a brush fire caused by a lightning bolt.
The Grand Strand is full of outdoor activities and the frequency of storms during the summer as well as open spaces like the beach and golf courses can create a dangerous combination.
“If you’re not near any high rises, people are the tallest thing around,” said Johnson.
And the tallest object is what is most likely to be struck.
The best way to stay safe during a lightning storm is just go inside.