Treasure Coast Essay
Wed July 23, 2014
Beautiful but deadly
When you hear it thunder, don’t run under a tree, as Paul Janensch tells us in this Treasure Coast Essay.
Lightning is like a femme fatale in a 1940s film noir – beautiful but deadly. Think Barbara Stanwyck in “Double Indemnity.” Fred MacMurray is attracted to her, but we know he should stay away. It’s the same with lightning. Summer is the lightning season, and Florida is the lightning capital of the U.S. On June 14th, a man and his son were five miles off Fort Pierce when a bolt of lightning struck their boat. The man was injured. The vessel’s motor and electronics were knocked out. Fortunately, the Coast Guard came to their rescue. But not everyone is so lucky. On the average, according to the National Weather Service, lightning in Florida kills six and injures 39 each year. Yes, a lightning storm can be more sensational than a fireworks show. But do not stay outside to watch it. No place where you are exposed is safe when a thunderstorm is near. Get out of the water and away from the beach. Get off the golf course and away from tall trees. Find protective shelter, such as a solid building with electricity and plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with the windows up. Stay there at least 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder. I don’t want to give away the ending of “Double Indemnity,” but it is not a happy one for Fred MacMurray. For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.