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It's lightning season, be safe!

Jun 11, 2015, 19:29 PM

Lightning season has begun, and will run its course until September. In 2014, we recorded more than 210,000 strikes for 55 of our major service points. As, your electric distribution provider, we have more than 120,000 kilometres of mostly overhead power lines that can be affected by lightning strikes and create power outages.

Recent analysis of our service territory shows that there are hot spots for lightning strikes all over the province. As such, we have collected a top 10 list for lightning strikes in our service territory which is based on the number of strikes per square kilometre.
FortisAlberta’s top 10 lightning hot spots, with approximate strikes are:
1. Bassano – 3.32 strikes per square kilometre (total 8,407 strikes)
2. Airdrie – 2.19 strikes per square kilometre (total 6,081 strikes)
3. Sedgewick – 1.96 strikes per square kilometre (total 5,856 strikes)
4. Strathmore – 1.93 strikes per square kilometre (total 8,750 strikes)
5. Red Deer – 1.82 strikes per square kilometer (total 4,861 strikes)
6. Spruce Grove – 1.78 strikes per square kilometre (total 3,076 strikes)
7. Camrose – 1.76 strikes per square kilometre (total 7,561 strikes)
8. Entwistle – 1.63 strikes per square kilometre (total 3,870 strikes)
9. Whitecourt – 1.60 strikes per square kilometre (total 12,342 strikes)
10. Wainwright – 1.56 strikes per square kilometre (total 7,085 strikes)
Lightning Safety Tips:
1. Prepare your electrical property:
·        Before the storm hits, disconnect electronics and electrical appliances including radios and television sets.
2. Stay safe indoors:
·        Remain indoors if possible.
·        Keep away from doors, windows, fireplaces and anything that will conduct electricity such as radiators, stoves, sinks and metal pipes.
·        Only use battery-operated appliances. Don’t handle electrical equipment or telephones. Cell phones are the safest method of communication.
3. Take precautions if caught outdoors:
·        Take shelter when you can count 30 seconds or less between lightning and thunder.
·        Stay away from objects that conduct electricity, like water, tractors, golf clubs and carts, motorcycles, lawn mowers and bicycles.
·        Avoid being the highest point in an open area, crouch down and cover your ears.
·        Stay away from tall objects like trees, hilltops and poles.

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