If a storm is brewin' and you catch yourself outside, a natural response may be to shelter under a tree. 2022 has given us many reasons to avoid this during storms, with the biggest national lightning-strike story coming in August of this year when 3 people were left dead under a tree in front of the White House. 

Here in El Paso there isn't much rain, and there aren't many storms compared to most of the country... but there was certainly some action earlier this week! Check out these INSANE videos from local El Pasoan Giovanni Aguirre. He caught them after a palm tree caught on fire in east El Paso causing an explosion, all because of a lightning strike. Thankfully there was no damage reported and firefighters were able to put out the blaze quickly!

A scary situation that resulted in no injuries or deaths, and a good reminder to never shelter under a tree during a storm. CDC.GOV states that if you do find yourself in a thunder or lightning storm:

  • Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges, or peaks
  • Never lie flat on the ground
  • Crouch down in a ball-like position with your head tucked and hands over your ears so that you are down low with minimal contact with the ground
  • Never shelter under an isolated tree

According to our friends at weather.gov, 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. Lightning kills about 20 people in the United States each year, and hundreds more are severely injured.

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