Louisville utility director OK after lightning shock

The superintendent of Louisville, Ga.’s utility department has been released from Doctors Hospital’s Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta and is expected to return to work today after he and another worker were shocked by lightning while repairing a broken water line.

“He is a little stiff and sore, but other than that, there are no residual effects and Ronnie Jones is recovering nicely from his injuries,” Louisville city administrator Ricky Sapp said of his utility director Thursday.

Sapp said electricity traveled through metal piping and struck Jones in the elbow around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the city’s water plant, while the supervisor was working on an 8-inch break in the main line with a contract worker.

Sapp said the worker refused treatment, but Jones, who had no visible signs of a burn, was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Louisville city policy requires all workers to stay away from water when they hear thunder or see lightning.

Sapp said the two men saw a rain cloud approach, but never heard thunder or saw lightning.

“It is just one of those rare situations,” Sapp said. “There were no thunder rumblings in the distant. The lightning just popped up and intensified quickly.”

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