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Lightning Strikes

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 2013 | By Jill Cowan
A storm front that worked its way north through California early this week produced an unusual -- and potentially dangerous -- result: nearly 29,000 lightning strikes in two days, which sparked about 150 fires, Cal Fire officials said Tuesday. Most of those fires were quickly contained, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant said, but several were able to grow "fairly quickly" with the help of wind and dangerously dry conditions. A red-flag warning issued Monday by the National Weather Service for the foothills and mountains of Northern California was expected to be in effect through Wednesday.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
A lightning strike in Sunland left more than 700 people without electricity Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said.  The outage was reported Wednesday around 3 p.m. after lines were knocked down by the lightning, officials said. Television news footage showed downed lines near Sunland Boulevard and Oro Vista Avenue. The DPW said on its Twitter account Wednesday night that crews were working as quickly as possible to restore power in the area.
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SPORTS
August 10, 1991 | From Associated Press
The deaths of spectators at the U.S. Open and PGA golf tournaments this summer illustrate the danger and power of a lightning strike. Knowing where a bolt might strike next could save lives and thousands of dollars for consumers. Morever, the profit in tracking lightning with pinpoint accuracy has sparked the creation of two competing national networks.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2014 | By Alicia Banks
A Bay Area woman struck by lightning during a rainstorm Monday has apparently escaped serious injury, with her only side effects being sore teeth and a metallic taste in her mouth. Emily Davis, 31, was crossing Adeline Street in Berkeley when the lightning struck. After hearing the rumble of thunder, she mistook the bolt that hit her umbrella - before coursing through to her arm - for a camera flash. She told NBC Bay Area that her hands started shaking uncontrollably, so much so that she threw down her hot cup of coffee.
NEWS
April 17, 1987 | Associated Press
An unmanned satellite-carrying rocket launched last month may have sustained as many as nine lightning strikes before it broke apart over the Atlantic Ocean, a NASA spokesman said Thursday. The disclosure came as searchers recovered from the sea the flight computer from the doomed rocket. Officials said it appeared to be in good shape and could provide vital information on what went wrong.
NEWS
August 2, 2009 | Mike Clary
As she headed to the airport to pick up her brother, staying safe in a lightning storm was the last thing on Michelle St. Val's mind. Although rain threatened, the expressway was dry, St. Val's 2003 Chevrolet Impala was running smoothly, and her son, 4-year-old Mikyal, was belted into the back seat and singing along to his favorite song, the New Boyz's "You're a Jerk." Then "my car lit up like it was Christmas," said St. Val, 23. The music stopped, Mikyal was showered in glass, and the burgundy Impala was drifting powerless across three lanes of traffic.
NEWS
April 24, 1988 | DOUG BROWN, Times Staff Writer
Lightning injured eight members of a girls' softball team and their coach after they sought refuge from a driving rain under a tree at a Tustin elementary school. The bolt hit shortly before noon Saturday as the players' horrified parents watched from nearby. The girls, who ranged in age from 8 to 10, and the coach were taken to four Orange County hospitals. Seven of the girls were hospitalized for burns and shock, with two reported in serious condition and five in stable condition.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 12, 1988 | GLENN ZORPETTE, Glenn Zorpette is a free-lance writer in New York City. and
Pilot Robert A. Rivers remembers one thing clearly: They were not the sort of clouds he expected to see lightning leap out of. But it did, and it nearly wrecked his airplane. Rivers, a research pilot with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, was approaching the Los Alamitos Army Aviation Facility on Feb. 24, 1987. Behind him was astronaut Brewster H. Shaw Jr., a veteran of two space shuttle flights and Rivers' co-pilot that day.
NEWS
February 11, 1992 | KENNETH J. GARCIA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A powerful Pacific storm pounded Southern California on Monday, triggering mudslides and floods that stranded motorists and forced helicopter rescue crews to pluck terrorized drivers from car roofs and treetops. The deluge caused the swollen Los Angeles River to overflow in the Sepulveda Dam Basin in Van Nuys, sending a torrent of water onto Burbank Boulevard and nearly submerging dozens of vehicles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 16, 1996
When Lightning Strikes Lightning strikes the ground about 17 million times a year in the U.S. Although chances of being struck are about 1 in 600,000, the chances are probably higher in densely populated areas. Injuries and deaths from lightning strikes in California are much lower than other states.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
Five airline pilots reported that their planes were struck by lightning as rain fell in the Bay Area, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said Monday night. The strikes were reported around San Francisco International Airport during a roughly half-hour period that began at 12:15 p.m. Monday, said Ian Gregor, FAA spokesman in Los Angeles. None of the pilots reported damage or requested special assistance, he said. The planes were from Alaska, Horizon, United and United Arab Emirates airlines, the agency said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
Los Angeles firefighters worked through sunrise Wednesday morning battling a massive fire at a chrome-plating business in a Panorama City commercial building. The fire engulfed a 20,000-square-foot building in the 14600 block of Arminta Street . Hazardous materials crews were at the scene but no toxic releases has been detected, a fire department official said. The blaze began about 3:15 a.m., and more than 160 firefighters responded. It was extinguished about 5:30 a.m. but firefighters remained on scene to snuff out the smoldering remains.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 2013 | By Jill Cowan
Authorities are awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine the identity of a burning body found Tuesday near an upscale Covina neighborhood. A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy spotted the body on the side of East Covina Hills Road just west of Via Verde, out of view of homes about 3:45 a.m. According to an update issued by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, preliminary information suggests the body " is an unknown male who was dumped at the location and set on fire.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 2013 | By Jill Cowan
A storm front that worked its way north through California early this week produced an unusual -- and potentially dangerous -- result: nearly 29,000 lightning strikes in two days, which sparked about 150 fires, Cal Fire officials said Tuesday. Most of those fires were quickly contained, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant said, but several were able to grow "fairly quickly" with the help of wind and dangerously dry conditions. A red-flag warning issued Monday by the National Weather Service for the foothills and mountains of Northern California was expected to be in effect through Wednesday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 20, 2013 | By Jason Wells
A series of thunderstorms that have sparked about 20 small fires in the San Bernardino National Forest should move out of the area Tuesday, authorities said. About 100 personnel have been assigned to the August lightning fires, which started cropping up early Monday morning as lightning strikes turned dead, dry trees into smoldering ignition switches for small spot fires. Small hail and gusty winds were still possible in the San  Bernardino  Mountains through Tuesday afternoon until skies become partly cloudy, according to the National Weather Service.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
A lightning-sparked wildfire was raging out of control Monday evening in Kern County and had charred about 500 acres of brush and timber. Authorities issued voluntary evacuation warnings for about 400 homes as the Shirley fire burned in a popular recreation area in the Sequoia National Forest. The blaze was the largest of several fires ignited by lightning strikes Sunday night in the Kern River Valley in the southern Sierra Nevada, fire officials said.  Thunderstorms continued to rumble across the area and other parts of Southern California on Monday.
NEWS
July 6, 1986 | United Press International
Winds whipped up flaming twisters 100 feet tall Saturday as crews battled two fires that were still raging out of control after consuming 42,000 acres. The fires were apparently started by thousands of lightning strikes in the area Thursday and Friday, authorities said.
NEWS
July 7, 1999 | From Times Wire Reports
A thunderstorm that unleashed about 15,000 lightning strikes as it moved through Georgia caused dozens of fires in Atlanta, including three that engulfed apartment buildings, firefighters said. Several homes and three apartment buildings sustained heavy damage from the fires, but only two injuries were reported, according to officials. Two firefighters were injured at apartments in DeKalb County when a floor collapsed in the burning building, and a third firefighter suffered from dehydration.
SPORTS
August 12, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
Usain Bolt actually needed encouragement from the crowd to strike his famous "lightning bolt" pose after reclaiming the 100-meter world title on Sunday. Maybe that's because the usually ebullient Jamaican runner has found a new gimmick. An incredible photo has surfaced, showing a bolt of lightning striking overhead at the IAAF world championships in Moscow just after Bolt crossed the finish line in 9.77 seconds, well ahead of American runner-up Justin Gatlin (9.85). The race took place in a heavy downpour, which led to a slow start by Bolt, the two-time reigning Olympic champion and world record holder in the event.
NATIONAL
August 1, 2013 | By Benjamin Mueller
Twelve Fort Carson soldiers were hospitalized, two of whom remained in critical condition Thursday, after lightning struck an open field south of the Butts Army Airfield in Colorado where the 52nd Engineer Battalion was training. The battalion was conducting a training exercise on Wednesday in a large field empty of vegetation when it was warned of an approaching storm system, Dani Johnson, Fort Carson's chief of media relations, told the Los Angeles Times. Soldiers suspended training and moved to take cover in a tent, but the storm advanced too quickly and struck while some of the soldiers were still scrambling for shelter around 2:45 p.m.  The lightning landed about 200 yards from the soldiers, sending repercussions through the ground that injured 12 of them, Johnson said.
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