Florence police officer struck by lightning identified, doing well

Lightning strikes a Florence Police officer
Lightning strikes a Florence Police officer(Will Corey)
Updated: Mar. 26, 2021 at 4:20 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - A Florence Police Officer was struck by lightning Thursday afternoon.

WAFF is told Officer James Piteo is still a little sore, but doing well after receiving treatment at North Alabama Medical Center.

Florence Police Officer James Piteo
Florence Police Officer James Piteo(FPD)

Authorities confirm the officer was struck by lightning while putting up barricades at the intersection of of Chisolm Road and Gresham Road.

Nearby officers provided immediate first aid and transported him to NAMC. WAFF is told the officer has suffered burns.

Deputy Chief Mike Holt said the officer was able to radio for help after being hit.

“He did exactly what officers are trained to do. They’re trained to know their location. They’re trained report their location. If you’re able to that then people don’t know where the help needs to go, so he did an excellent job in that. He resorted back to his training and it’s why he was able to get to the hospital on days like this,” said Holt.

And even a Tuscumbia woman had a similar experience Thursday.

Officials said lightning struck a building and the current was strong enough to indirectly hit a woman.

Fortunately, she didn’t have any injuries.

Also good news, officials say flood waters are receding a lot faster Thursday than last week.

This time last week Oakwood Blvd. had five feet of standing water but that’s not the case tonight.

While some roads are still barricaded in Lauderdale county, the EMA said that the water has receded a lot faster this time.

“We got a little over six inches of rain today but it’s running on off really well. For this event we were pretty light on stuff and we’ll sure take it that way. The officer getting struck was probably the most significant thing we’ve had,” said George Graybryan.

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