The Shocking Truth: Heritage Days vendor is one in a millionSteve Salseg is a lucky man. On July 6, the Crosslake, Minn., man and his wife, Pat, were in Two Harbors for Heritage Days when Steve said he got the shock of his life.
By: Tammy Francois, Lake County News Chronicle
Steve Salseg is a lucky man. On July 6, the Crosslake, Minn., man and his wife, Pat, were in Two Harbors for Heritage Days when Steve said he got the shock of his life.
He was struck by lightning.
“It knocked me right on my butt,” he said, barely a half-hour after the incident. “If you’ve ever had a shock from the coil on a car, it was 10 times worse than that.”
The couple, who own a reversible clothing business (we’ll get to that in a minute) called Trish’s Wishes, had just set up their tent on vendor’s row in the Depot parking lot when the wind started gusting and rain began to fall. Salseg said he was adjusting the tent flaps to protect his inventory when he felt the jolt. Pat also could tell something was happening.
“I heard the thunder, turned around and he was on his back like a turtle,” she said.
Witnesses told Salseg that they saw the bolt strike a nearby building. He said they surmised that the current traveled across the wet pavement and up the metal tent pole that he was holding. Several people standing nearby used cell phones to call for help.
Lake County Ambulance and Two Harbors Rescue responded to the 911 call. Medics checked out Salseg and found he had no injuries or burns.
“I’m just a little tired,” he said. In fact, Salseg reported that the neck and shoulder pain he usually has, seemed to be gone — perhaps the silver lining to the thunder cloud.
Lake County Ambulance could not comment on Salseg’s condition, but a representative said that patients are typically assessed to ensure that heart rhythms and oxygen levels are normal and that there are no entrance or exit burns. Salseg was not taken to the hospital.
“People keep coming up and asking me if I’ll buy them a lottery ticket,” Salseg quipped with a grin.
The following afternoon was hot and clear and Pat Salseg was tending customers while Steve sat in his chair in a far corner out of the fray. “I feel fine, no problems,” he said.
According to National Weather Service data collected between 1981 and 2010, the chances of being struck by lightning are one in a million at any given time and one in 10,000 over a lifetime. Annually, 54 deaths are attributed to lightning strikes in the United States.
During summer months when thunder storms are most likely to occur along the North Shore, these tips from the National Weather Service can help reduce your chances of lightning related injury or death.
Seek shelter in a building or vehicle when you hear thunder, see lightning or storm clouds develop. Safe buildings are those with walls, a roof and windows
Stay inside until 30-minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder.
There is no safe place outdoors during a thunder storm. When thunder roars, go indoors.
The Salvegs were only in Two Harbors for a few days and then headed to the next event on their summer itinerary. They’ll travel until winter when they head to Arizona and may forget some of the details of the summer of 2012.
But there’s little chance they’ll forget Heritage Days and Steve’s en-light’ning experience.