Lightning creates busy days for Horry County Fire Rescue

Horry County firefighting crews are preparing themselves for another round of thunderstorms after responding to a large amount of lightning strikes. (Source: Conor McCue)
Horry County firefighting crews are preparing themselves for another round of thunderstorms after responding to a large amount of lightning strikes. (Source: Conor McCue)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Horry County firefighting crews are preparing themselves for another round of thunderstorms after responding to a large amount of lightning strikes this weekend.

More than 1,000 lightning strikes per 15 minutes hit the Grand Strand and Pee Dee on the official first day of summer. The repeated strikes kept firefighters on their toes, as they had to respond to nearly a half dozen lightning related calls.

"It's out of the ordinary for days like that," said Chris Regan, an officer at Horry County Fire Rescue Station 1 in Socastee. "It was a bad storm that came through."

When it comes to staying safe in a storm with lightning, Regan gave several simple guidelines: Stay away from doors and windows, don't use electrical equipment, and avoid any type of plumbing because the electric current can travel through the water.

His best piece of advice for people is to know what weather to expect.

"Try to plan ahead," Regan said. "You don't want to plan trips outside, go to playgrounds outside with kids, go out or boats, or go golfing, so just plan your day."

He says you can also save electronic devices by unplugging them before the storm even gets to where you are.

If you are in a home that is struck by lightning, Regan suggests you stay calm, stay put, and call 911. The fire department will come out and assess any damage to yourself or your home.

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