LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Thunderstorms can strike any day of the year, especially here, in East Texas. The number of damage claims caused by local lightning storms shocked one insurance agent. "I was surprised to see that Angelina County was number two out of 254 counties that was surprising," said Tommy Street, Allstate agent.
KTRE's Chief Meterologist said the amount of rainfall Angelina County sees throughout the year is a clear indicator. "With more chances for rain and thunderstorms, the frequency for lightning is much higher and as a result that's why we have much more lightning strikes here then say West Texas," said Brad Hlozek, KTRE's Chief Meterologist.
Hlozek said Angelina County's population and location create a higher risk for lightning strikes. "So you have more land masses, steeples on church buildings, tower buildings, eccetera that are more attracted to lightning," said Hlozek.
Harmony Hill Baptist Church decided to take down their steeple after it was struck by lightning more than once. "We're had some lightning strikes in our new building that has affected some of our technology and electronics in that area, but we have not lost any parts of our new building," said Jim Myers, church administrator.
Myers was actually at the church when the lightning struck. "We didn't realize that it had done the damage it did at first," said Myers.
He said the lightning strike caused about $8,000 in damage. Which is why Street said now is the time to make sure your home is covered. "Take pictures of what you have anything you buy, keep receipts of your major purchases, put them in a safe place," said Street.