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2018 is deadly year for Florida lightning strikes

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MIAMI – 2018 is quickly becoming one of the deadliest years in Florida history when it comes to lightning strikes.

Five people have already been killed in the state by lightning this year, a number that matches the annual average.

On Wednesday, a boater in Umatilla was the latest to be killed by a lightning strike, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Two people in South Florida have died by lightning. Marco Pascual was killed working in a field at C.W. Hendrix Farm in May, while Rico Eltine was struck and killed in June as he was working outside in Margate.

The summer months of June, July and August are considered the deadliest for Florida lightning strikes as more people are outdoors.

“With four deaths in Florida already, certainly the death toll is above average given where we are in the season,” John Jensenius, a lightning expert with the National Weather Service, told the newspaper. “When you are at four and the average is 4.7, that’s pretty high for this point in the year.”