CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Lightning strikes in North Carolina are way up.

In fact, a new report puts the state in the top-five for insurance claims among lightning damage. We're talking more than $42 million worth of damages just last year.

Over 5,800 claims were filed in North Carolina alone, all from lightning strikes.

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Earlier in the month, 74-year-old Sonny Dixon had to get 22 stitches after a lightning strike caused a massive tree to fall on top of Dixon's Corvette.

"It was raining so hard, I couldn't see anything at all," Sonny said. "All of the sudden, I heard this loud noise... Ka-Pow! Sounded louder than a gun."

State Farms says there are a few things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a statistic.

  • Always go indoors when a storm brews.
  • Avoid touching anything electronic when lightning is in the area.
  • Stay away from sinks and showers.
  • If you are outside during a storm, keep a safe distance from tall objects and cover yourself.

The United States experiences more than 25 million lightning flashes each year. However, the odds of being struck is more than one in a million.