IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Four hikers hurt after lightning strike on North Carolina mountain

All of the hikers were able to leave the mountain on their own after the strike near MacRae Peak.
The Mile High Swinging Bridge up Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina
Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina.Trevor Baker / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Four hikers near a North Carolina peak were injured after a lightning strike at Grandfather Mountain State Park on Friday, officials said.

They were all able to leave on their own and one person suffered a head injury after a fall, a stewardship foundation and a Linville Volunteer Fire Department firefighter said.

Seven hikers in all "felt the effects of a nearby lightning strike," the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation tweeted, but only four suffered injuries.

The lightning strike occurred shortly after noon, and the area where it happened is fairly exposed, Firefighter Brandon Townsend said.

The hikers were near MacRae Peak on state park land when a sudden storm swept through, the foundation said. MacRae Peak is at an elevation of around 5,800 feet.

The National Weather Service said that the mountains and foothills in the area could see thunderstorms with lightning through the evening.

The lightning strike in North Carolina occurred a day after lightning struck a group of beachgoers at a beach in the Bronx in New York City. A 13-year-old boy died in that incident, which occurred during a fast-moving storm.

Between 20 and 29 people have died from lighting in the U.S. each year during most of the last decade, according to the National Weather Service.

In 2020, there were 17 lightning deaths, and the deadliest year since 2010 was in 2016 when 40 people died.

MacRae Peak and Grandfather Mountain State Park is in the Appalachian Mountains in northwestern North Carolina. Part of Grandfather Mountain, known as the backcountry, is the state park, and part is a travel attraction operated by the stewardship foundation that includes the "mile-high swinging bridge."