Top storm-related killers - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Top storm-related killers

By Justin Logan - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - We see all types of weather across the United States from tornadoes to ice storms. Other times the weather is calm, but when the weather is at its worst it can be deadly.  

Many people think that tornadoes would be number one when it comes to storm-related deaths because they can produce so much damage.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), tornadoes cause an average of 57 fatalities each year across the nation. That statistic is based on a 30 year average. The death toll in 2010 was less than that, with 45 people losing their lives. 

Tornadoes can occur any time of the year, but their peak is during the spring and summer months. It's important to remember they can happen at any time day or night.

A large number of tornado fatalities actually occur at night when most people are sleeping. That's why it's so important to have a NOAA Weather Radio that can alert you.

Lightning also causes an average of 57 (30 year average) fatalities a year, which is more than hurricanes or winter storms. Most of these fatalities occur during the summer months when many people are outdoors.

Lightning roughly strikes the earth 20 million times a year and it occurs in all thunderstorms. If you hear thunder you are close enough to be struck by lightning. Remember when thunder roars go indoors.

The leading storm-related killer is flash flooding. Based on a 30 year average, flooding causes more than 90 deaths per year. Most flash flood fatalities occur at night when it's almost impossible to know the depth of water. Most of those fatalities occur when people drive their automobiles through deep water becoming stranded.

Flash flooding is usually caused by heavy rain from a thunderstorm or river flooding. The most important thing to remember when you see a road covered with water, turn around don't drown.

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