July 16, 2013
Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski, 928-638-7958
Vanya Pryputniewicz, 928-638-7628
Grand Canyon, Ariz. – At approximately 1:00 p.m. on Monday, July 15 a lightning strike near Mather Point resulted in several visitors reporting injuries to the Grand Canyon Visitors Center. The group of visitors was standing near the rim when the lightning strike occurred. Four individuals were transported to the South Rim Clinic for evaluation of non-life-threatening injuries.
This incident is a reminder that summer storms in the southwest are often accompanied by dangerous lightning. Serious injuries and fatalities have occurred at Grand Canyon National Park in the past as a result of lightning strikes. Visitors to the park are reminded that if the sound of thunder follows a lightning flash within 30 seconds or less, they should seek shelter in a building or vehicle, or proceed to the nearest bus stop to get on a park shuttle.
Park rangers advise that lightning can strike 10 miles across the canyon. Park visitors and residents should stay away from exposed points during storms and lightening activity. The safest place to be during a thunderstorm is inside a building or a vehicle with the windows closed. Avoid touching metal railings when lightning activity is nearby.
Remember, "if you see it, flee it; and if you hear it, clear it." For more on how to be "lightning smart", please visit Grand Canyon National Park's web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/LightningDanger.pdf.