Sheldon, Iowa — Just after 4 pm Friday afternoon two individuals leaving work at Maintainer Corp in Sheldon were struck by lightning. The pair were transported to Sanford Sheldon by SCAT and reportedly life-flighted to Sanford Sioux Falls. KIWA has no condition report as of Saturday morning.
According to Walt Pruiksma, Sheldon Emergency Management Director, both Wayne Barahona and he were in the radio station’s front lobby after hearing the first of two loud cracks of thunder. Peering south both individuals witnessed the bolt that apparently struck the Maintainer employees. Barahona said the bolt of lightning went east to west and then down in a fork pattern. At first the pair thought the bolt struck a cell tower south of town but then emergency crews were paged to Maintainer for two individuals struck by lightning. Both were also watching radar and have indicated only light showers were observed.
Here are lightning safety tips from the National Lightning Safety Institute:
Personal Lightning Safety Tips
1. PLAN in advance your evacuation and safety measures. When you first see lightning or hear thunder, activate your emergency plan. Now is the time to go to a building or a vehicle. Lightning often precedes rain, so don’t wait for the rain to begin before suspending activities.
2. IF OUTDOORS…Avoid water. Avoid the high ground. Avoid open spaces. Avoid all metal objects including electric wires, fences, machinery, motors, power tools, etc. Unsafe places include underneath canopies, small picnic or rain shelters, or near trees. Where possible, find shelter in a substantial building or in a fully enclosed metal vehicle such as a car, truck or a van with the windows completely shut. If lightning is striking nearby when you are outside, you should:
A. Crouch down. Put feet together. Place hands over ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder.
B. Avoid proximity (minimum of 15 ft.) to other people.
3. IF INDOORS… Avoid water. Stay away from doors and windows. Do not use the telephone. Take off head sets. Turn off, unplug, and stay away from appliances, computers, power tools, & TV sets. Lightning may strike exterior electric and phone lines, inducing shocks to inside equipment.
4. SUSPEND ACTIVITIES for 30 minutes after the last observed lightning or thunder.
5. INJURED PERSONS do not carry an electrical charge and can be handled safely. Apply First Aid procedures to a lightning victim if you are qualified to do so. Call 911 or send for help immediately.
6. KNOW YOUR EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS.