Waterville Valley may not be located in Tornado Alley, but on Saturday, June 29, it sure seemed like we were in a storm scene straight out of the movie, “Twister.” Lightning, ferocious winds, hail, and driving rain falling sideways like proverbial cats and dogs. There was minor damage around Town Square, including a partial collapse of the tent in the courtyard (below) and some doors blown open and off their frames in The Lantern.
Forget about staying dry. Just focus on dodging a strike.
BEST option: Get in your car, shut every possible crack, and avoid touching metal parts.
If you must stay outside, find an open, low space on solid ground, avoiding standing water if possible.
Make yourself a small target by crouching on your toes, hands covering your ears, head between your knees.
Touch the ground as little as possible – it’s conductive. Do not lie flat.
Don’t shelter under partially enclosed structures like tents, sheds and carports.
Steer clear of all electrical fences and poles.
If in woods with no clearing, position yourself under the shortest trees you can find.
Avoid tall or isolated trees.
Remove any climbing ropes or electrical devices from your body.
Space yourself at least 15 feet from your companions.
Lighting strikes US soil 30 million times a year at 100 million volts and temperatures up to 50,000 degrees F.
A strike has a diameter of just one to two inches, yet can shoot for miles through the skies.
Strikes are the second worst weather killer in the U.S. after floods. They claim about 100 lives a year.