Missouri makes top 10 list of most lightning strikes

Missouri makes top 10 list of most lightning strikes

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The state of Missouri ranks in the top ten states for most lightning strikes. 

The list comes two days after lightning struck a moving car in Indiana and also injured two airport workers in Florida.

The increased number of thunderstorms during the spring and summer months, especially in July, is the time when most strikes occur.

"If you see it, flee it. If you hear it, fear it."

That's the warning MU Professor of Meteorology Anthony Lupo said everyone should learn during a thunderstorm.

Each year, lightning kills about 60 people and causes millions of dollars in damage, but it is still not taken seriously enough.

Lupo said, "generally lightning is underestimated, and the dangers associated with it. You see it all the time when people stay out and golf when there's thunderstorms nearby."

In Missouri, last year alone, State Farm Insurance said it paid out nearly $4 million in claims. 

State Farm Spokesman Jim Camoriano said, "it seems as if everybody now has a computer. Laptops, smart phones, plasma and HD TVs, gaming systems. With the prevalence of those types of things in a person's home, the vulnerability just spikes when it comes to lightning strikes."

To save money and your valuable electronics, Camoriano recommends plugging your valuables into a surge protector regularly and going unplugged completely during a storm.

There were more than 900 lightning claims in Missouri. Monday is the start of National Lightning Safety Awareness Week. 

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