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Old 08-13-2019, 10:53 AM
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Lightning fell really close to me today - anybody else had lightning striking too close for comfort?


Hi evereybody! This morning there was a rather spectacular electric storm here in The Hague.

I was going to work in my car when lightning struck a house right as I was driving next to it. Holy FUCK, was that scary!! There was an almighty flash of light, and the most horrendously loud noise I've ever heard. I was so shocked (hah...) and scared that I almost lost control of my car; fortunately there was not much traffic. The flash was so bright that I had afterimages for a little while.

I estimate that lightning fell not more than about 10-15 m away from me. The house looked OK afterwards; I guess that it had a lightning rod installed.

Has anybody else here had lightning striking close by? Mind sharing your experiences?
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:00 AM
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Yeah, during monsoons in Vietnam back in 1967. Happened twice, actually. The first time, the breakfast I was eating when in several directions, especially because at first I didn't know if it was lightning or incoming rounds. The second time, I was sitting on a concrete walk underneath an awning roof. The strike was so close that I found myself on my feet without remembering getting up.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:09 AM
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I was on the jetway boarding a plane in Denver, I was about 4 people from the door of the plane and suddenly there was a loud explosion. We were all looking around trying to figure out what happened, the guy in front of me couldn't hear very well because of the noise, lots of confusion.

This is what they told us:
The lightning hit the corner of the jetway (again, this is what they told us).
Some of the electronics on the plane got knocked out (like the stuff controlling the AC or something). (this part is confusing, if it hit the jetway, where is there a connection to the plane?)

The flight was delayed for about an hour while they fixed something. The guys hearing came back but he had a lot of ringing.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:21 PM
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The main powerline for the chemical plant where I work comes into the plant at a cinderblock shed where the controls for a foam fire-suppression system are housed. It's a bit of a lightning-attractor.

I was in a building next door to this during a thunderstorm, going to look out the window while explaining this to someone else just as we were rattled by an enormous BOOM and flash out the window. It was a bit unnerving.

… But not as unnerving as for the two guys who had ducked into the shed to avoid the rain, only to have the fire-suppression system in the same hut get hit by that lightning. And set afire. All they recalled was the noise. And nearly pooping their pants.

We're only half-joking now when a storm rolls through asking "... is anyone in the foam shed?"
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:23 PM
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When we lived in FL, a tree in our yard was hit - maybe 30' from the house? Bark flew in every direction and, of course, it scared the beedoobies outta me. The bits of bark that fell on the paved area left what looked like blood stains. And, yeah, it was loud.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:31 PM
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Lightning once struk the house that I was in probably no more than 30 feet from me once. It probably doesn't count, though, because I was too young to remember it, being a 2nd trimester fetus. The house survived with minor damage, and it made the local newspaper (the article clipping is still around somewhere.)
Other than that, I've on more than one occasion had lightning hit so close to the house that it has caused large "pinging" sparks of static electricity to jump from (or two) objects in the room around me--I hear a massive boom and simultaneously see the sparks--once off a doorknob and once off a stove, for instance. Had to be really close for that to happen.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:03 PM
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I've experienced ball lightning, within 2 feet of me.

I was about 10 years old, and sitting in the kitchen with my mom and aunt. There was a storm outside. All of a sudden, a red-hot ball came through the window and shot between me and my aunt, and zoomed across the room, disappearing behind the refrigerator.

We all yelled the equivalent of "Holy shit!"
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:37 PM
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Our house was struck by lightning. It hit the TV antenna, which was mounted on the chimney. At the time, we were in our (upstairs) bedroom/bathroom getting ready for work, so it was probably 10-20' over our heads.

Fortunately, very little damage to our house. It went down the antenna wire and fried both of our TVs. On our roof, the antenna wire went under the cover to our attic fan, and the charge blew the cover off the roof. We were trying to figure out what happened, and my wife noticed that the rain seemed very loud. The attic access panel was in our bedroom closet. When we opened that, we were looking up at the open sky through the uncovered attic fan.

Always a shitty start to the workday when you are up on the roof at 6 a.m. in a driving rainstorm trying to tack down a tarp! But all things considered, we were lucky. Glad we were home to take care of it, as it was really raining in our attic.

A couple of years ago my sister had a pretty major house fire due to lightning. Her house was surrounded by large oak trees. Lightning struck one tree, arced across to the house, and started a fire - mostly inside the walls. Not a ton of fire damage, but considerable smoke and water.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by JoseB View Post
I estimate that lightning fell not more than about 10-15 m away from me.
Because it's a fun fact, not because I'm trying to be pedantic: the lightning actually rose 10-15m away from you, not fell. A typical lightning strike is initiated by a flow of negative charge down from the cloud. As it approaches the ground (50-100 m), a positive streamer reaches up and meets the downward ladder, at which point a return stroke goes from ground to sky. This return stroke is what you see.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:27 PM
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Friend was struck and killed on a boat we were on. I was 11. He was 12. In retrospect, I was always upset that no adult attempted CPR. I mean, as I got older, just from seeing it on TV, I think I would have tried.

I have been in t-storms as a teen and adult since then while boating (out to sea, nowhere to hide). For nearby hits, you get the near-simultaneous ''ZWAP-BOOM' and the bolt hits the water... and you can feel how the air has changed (charged?) and smell the burned ozone (always how I described it).

.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:41 PM
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I was right next to a transformer during a hellacious rainstorm trying to drive home at night when lightning hit it and it exploded. I had stopped for some downed branches in the road and was about to go around them when **BOOM**. Giant sparks flew everywhere, the transformer burst into flames and the electric power line detached from the pole and snaked to the ground right next to my car. It was bizarre and over so fast I couldn't believe it even happened.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:53 PM
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I was out with a friend "ghost hunting" i.e., checking out the local supposedly haunted spots around town. We went to a Tocabaga mound that is situated, literally on the side of a residential street under some trees. It was raining lightly but you get used to that here. Anyway just as we were climbing up toward the mound the loudest, brightest . . .thing that I have ever experienced exploded, what felt like right, at my feet. There was such a combination of sensations and sudden fear, I can really see someone having a heart attack over something like that.
Gave me a whole new respect for lightening and I make sure to get the heck out of the way.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:31 PM
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Because it's a fun fact, not because I'm trying to be pedantic: the lightning actually rose 10-15m away from you, not fell. A typical lightning strike is initiated by a flow of negative charge down from the cloud. As it approaches the ground (50-100 m), a positive streamer reaches up and meets the downward ladder, at which point a return stroke goes from ground to sky. This return stroke is what you see.
Interesting. I didn't know that. Ignorance fought today.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:39 PM
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About 15 years ago, I was on an airplane that was hit by lightning while we were in flight. There was a flash, and a low booming sound, and everything in my body felt tingly for a few moments.
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:41 PM
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It's happened to me several time, and each time it's impressive! We had one particular pine tree just outside our our old house that was hit by lightning on at least 3 different occasions. It wasn't the tallest tree in the yard and had a half dozen others of similar size around it, but this is the one lightning chose. I often wondered if there was an iron deposit directly under it. The other oddity is that the tree never died. It is a green today as it was when we moved in, or was the last time I drove by, but you can still see the lightning scars down the truck.
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:50 PM
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About 25 or 30 years ago or so, I was in my house with the garage door open, when lightning struck one of the trees just on the other side of the road we lived on. It's the only time I have ever personally experienced no delay at all between the flash and the boom.

A good friend of mine got hit by lightning. The lightning bolt actually struck his garage, traveled up through the electrical wire from the garage to the house, went through his stove, and zapped him while he was reaching into the oven. He woke up a couple of seconds later on the other side of the room with everyone running towards him to check if he was ok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaftPeople View Post
The lightning hit the corner of the jetway (again, this is what they told us).
Some of the electronics on the plane got knocked out (like the stuff controlling the AC or something). (this part is confusing, if it hit the jetway, where is there a connection to the plane?)
So I'm guessing one of three things.

1. Lightning branched, and most of the bolt hit the jetway, but a side branch hit the plane.

2. The lightning, or at least part of it, jumped from the jetway to the plane. Lightning is so high in voltage that it already jumped through several miles of open air. Jumping a few dozen feet from one thing to another on the ground is no biggie for a lightning bolt.

3. When lightning hits, the voltage spreads out in all directions, so you end up with huge voltage gradients across the ground. For the oversimplified version, imagine a million volts at the point where the lightning hit, and zero volts 40 yards away. At 10 yards away (spread out in all directions), you've got 3/4ths of a million volts, and 20 yards away you've got half a million volts, at 30 yards away you've got 1/4th of a million volts. So if the plane's wheels are five yards apart, they could end up with around 1/8th of a million volts difference between the wheels. That will cause current to go up through one landing gear and down through the other.

This is also the reason that if you are stuck out in the open and lighting is all around you, the best thing you can often do is crouch down in a ball to keep yourself as low as possible (and not have anything pointy up in the air to attract the electricity), and keep your feet together so that if lightning does strike nearby, you won't get shocked and possibly killed by the voltage gradient across your feet.

Last edited by engineer_comp_geek; 08-13-2019 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:01 PM
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When I was a kid, we were at the fairgrounds when a massive rainstorm opened up and turned the dirt to wet soupy mud. It started to hail fairly large hailstone, so we all headed for the nearest building, which was a seating stand. I was the last one heading that way when I started to feel a weird tingly sensation which freaked me the hell out and I hit the turbo button, and had just stepped my second foot out of the mud onto the concrete when I was totally disoriented by a massive KA-BOOM behind me. There was no one looking that way to say exactly how far away it was, it was too damn close regardless.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:04 PM
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Lightning hit a tree that was in my yard that was about 50 feet from my house twice several years apart. One of the loudest noises I’ve ever heard. Two other trees in my yard of been struck by lightning at least once. Two of the trees that were close to structures have been cut down. Also, one time my family and I were driving home from my grandma’s. As were about to drive under a transformer, it got struck.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:26 PM
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Once in Ontario we were driving along Highway 417 during a hot, dry summer. Lightning struck about 25 feet in front of our car and immediately set the brush on fire. Cars in both directions stopped and people ran over with fire extinguishers and put it out.

Another time in Kingston lightning struck a transformer about 100 feet in front of us and exploded in fire and sparks and an incredible boom - scared the crap out of us.

Also in Kingston sitting out on the deck watching a summer storm one night and lightning struck in the field across from our house. The bolt was straight down, thick and orange and lasted for at least a full second, maybe two. It was amazing.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:39 PM
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I once had lightning strike a tree in my front yard. I didn't see it happen but it sounded like an explosion.

And I did once witness a nearby lightning strike. Like the OP I was driving my car when lightning struck a tree on the side of the road. At the distance you don't see the lightning as a bolt; it's just a giant flash of light.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:55 PM
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Friend was struck and killed on a boat we were on. I was 11. He was 12. In retrospect, I was always upset that no adult attempted CPR. I mean, as I got older, just from seeing it on TV, I think I would have tried.

I have been in t-storms as a teen and adult since then while boating (out to sea, nowhere to hide). For nearby hits, you get the near-simultaneous ''ZWAP-BOOM' and the bolt hits the water... and you can feel how the air has changed (charged?) and smell the burned ozone (always how I described it).

.


When did this happen? If it was long enough ago, they (and you) may not have known about CPR.

Years ago, I was laying in bed, awake, while a thunderstorm raged at my house, and a bolt struck between my house and the neighbors'. There was a blinding flash and a simultaneous loud crack, and the cat who had been curled up next to my head vanished. I wondered if she had somehow been vaporized, and then looked under my bed and there she was.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:24 PM
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Decades ago, we heard a huuuuge BANG!!! that seemed to be very close. We were in the basement of our house at the time. Soon afterward we noticed we had no running water. The lightning apparently hit the ground right next to the house and fried the underground well pump.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:46 PM
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When i was 6 or so, a tree was hit right in front of our house - perhaps 40 feet away from me. Killed that tree dead.

Aside from that, no close calls.

Not long after I moved to the DC area a few decades ago, there was a nasty incident where a thunderstorm blew in while a bunch of people were attending a school soccer game or some such.

A number of the spectators took refuge... under a tree.

Yeah, several of them died. Interestingly, one of the survivors happened to work at my firm (not someone I interacted with regularly). He was evidently clinically dead for a short bit there.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:35 AM
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The closest has been Manazas, and he's about 1km away from my mother's house as the crow flies. Manazas ("big hands" or "clumsy one") is the nickname of the local statue of the Sacred Heart of Christ: it's lost its hands several times and its head once to lightning strikes. People joke that if they had realized a statue on the ruins of the old castle would keep the cathedral from being hit by lightning (as it previously had on several occasions) they would have built it sooner.

Last edited by Nava; 08-14-2019 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:57 AM
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The closest has been Manazas, and he's about 1km away from my mother's house as the crow flies. Manazas ("big hands" or "clumsy one") is the nickname of the local statue of the Sacred Heart of Christ: it's lost its hands several times and its head once to lightning strikes. People joke that if they had realized a statue on the ruins of the old castle would keep the cathedral from being hit by lightning (as it previously had on several occasions) they would have built it sooner.
Remember this? Didn't realize it was that long ago.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...tue-burns-down
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:05 AM
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....
Not long after I moved to the DC area a few decades ago, there was a nasty incident where a thunderstorm blew in while a bunch of people were attending a school soccer game or some such. ...
I misspoke, it was lacrosse (the article references the incident I mentioned, further down).
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:20 AM
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... Also, one time my family and I were driving home from my grandma’s. As were about to drive under a transformer, it got struck.
Reminds me of a time I was driving home from O'Hare, and saw a transformer next to the highway hit.

Coincidentally, a brief but VERY violent storm passed thru the western Chicago suburbs yesterday eve. My wife and I were walking the dog, when we heard thunder. Headed for home. About 3 houses away, we felt a few big drops. When I got to my house, I looked back and could see a wall of rain coming down the block.

Not a lightning strike, but the rain was coming sideways, and the wind brought down a branch that took out the transformer in my neighbor's backyard. We were out of power for about 4 hours. Reading by candlelight - how romantic!
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:06 AM
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Lightning struck a tree next to my former apartment building a long time ago. I remember the explosion during the night. The next morning, I could see that the entire top of the tree was blown apart, leaving only bare sticks.

The lower part of the tree starting growing extra leaves in days. Soon, there was the trunk going up, and a big bush of leaves growing right out of the trunk. It looked like how a little kid would draw a picture of a tree, a black trunk and a big green blob on top for leaves. Well, with spindly bare branches sticking out above that.

I was so sad when the City came and cut that tree down. It had fought so hard to live by growing all those emergency leaves.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:40 AM
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...
The lower part of the tree starting growing extra leaves in days. Soon, there was the trunk going up, and a big bush of leaves growing right out of the trunk. ....
Just read a book called Sprout Lands, about how man has long managed woodlands though coppicing and pollarding. According to this book, in most deciduous trees, most cells have the ability to form any part of the tree. So, for example, if a limb touches the ground, it can grow roots.

Really fascinating discussion of how trees were historically managed to sustainably produce all manner of material from basketry stems to ship timbers.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:00 AM
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Here's some amazing super-slow-motion footage of lightning.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:32 AM
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Pretty sure lightning struck this building while I was under it, waiting for a bus.
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:40 PM
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Because it's a fun fact, not because I'm trying to be pedantic: the lightning actually rose 10-15m away from you, not fell. A typical lightning strike is initiated by a flow of negative charge down from the cloud. As it approaches the ground (50-100 m), a positive streamer reaches up and meets the downward ladder, at which point a return stroke goes from ground to sky. This return stroke is what you see.
Check out the lightning strike when the video starts playing. Pause the video and use the "," and "." keys to move backwards and forwards, frame by frame. With this strike, one can visibly see, in one frame, the return stroke starting from the ground. According to Wikipedia, "the rate at which the return stroke current travels has been found to be around 100,000 km/s."
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:12 PM
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In 1969 I was doing sets for a play at Old Town Studio in Albuquerque. Summertime. Thunderstorm time on a Saturday afternoon. Rehearsal was over and I was painting scenery for the opening. There was a little, 12 year old or so girl in the show, and she had to wait for her folks to come get her. She went out to the phone booth (what's a phone booth…it's a little place with a dial and a receiver. But that's not important now.) She was gone a few minutes and the growing thunderstorm let out an enormous crash. Shook the fuck out of us. As in right on top of us. Poor little gal walked in white as a ghost. You okay? Yeah. No! Runs to me for comfort. She said when it happened all she saw was great flash of white. I figured the lightning had hit the telephone pole by the booth and gone down it surrounding the phone booth. A Faraday cage? Is that possible? Anyway I was her hero for comforting her, and at the cast party we had a my house later that night we all got to see some wild and crazy Americans land on the moon.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:45 PM
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Bivouacking at one of the ranges in Fort Dix 4 soldiers in my unit were struck when a sudden storm came through. They all survived.

Several years earlier I was flying in an OH-58 in Fort Hood when the weather started to rapidly turned bad. We decided to set it down on one of the smaller runways in the training area. When we were less than a mile out there was a ground strike directly between us and the runway. We decided that right below us was a great place to land and ride it out. Helicopters are good that way.
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Old 08-15-2019, 02:55 AM
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Not me, but someone I used to know- she was the manager of a shop round the corner and I worked with her daughter- got hit by lightning while waiting at a bus stop with an umbrella. She was actually pretty much fine, though she got a burn down her hand where she'd been holding the umbrella, and all the muscles in one of her feet kinda stopped working for a few days. This does not explain what she did next though, which is get on the bus, go to work like normal, and not even mention anything to anyone until she got home that evening and her husband asked what the hell happened to her foot...

This in a country with free ambulance transport and medical care, incidentally.
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:15 AM
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A bit over a year ago we heard the boom of the thunder and saw the flash of lightning at the same time. Didn't think much of it.

Realized later in the week that it somehow fried the DVR connected to cable, and the HDMI connector on the receiver. The rest of the receiver is still okay, fortunately.

Found out later that it had actually scored a direct hit on the neighbors' house and they had to get the electricians it to repair the resulting problems and replace a lot of equipment. Each building has 8 apartments - we were the only ones in our building to be affected, but the other building had 8/8.
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Old 08-15-2019, 06:08 AM
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I can't be certain, but I was at work and during a thunderstorm there was a huge bang that seemed to come from the roof of the neighbouring warehouse across the alley. I assumed that it was lightning striking its iron roof, but nothing subsequently occurred, so... lame finish to story, I never found out if it actually was what I thought.
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:17 AM
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when did this happen? If it was long enough ago, they (and you) may not have known about cpr.

Years ago, i was laying in bed, awake, while a thunderstorm raged at my house, and a bolt struck between my house and the neighbors'. There was a blinding flash and a simultaneous loud crack, and the cat who had been curled up next to my head vanished. I wondered if she had somehow been vaporized, and then looked under my bed and there she was.
1978

.
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:47 AM
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When I was around 12 or 13, we had been out and came back to our house to find some odd stuff. A small palmetto tree next to the driveway was knocked over, a half dozen or so fist sized chunks of asphalt from the drive way were spread around, with corresponding holes in the driveway, our garage was full of smoke, and we had no power. My mom called the fire department, and when they got there, they pointed out that our electric meter had exploded. Lightning had struck the mast where the power line came into the meter. We later found out that it had fried all of our appliances, the TV, and the well pump in the backyard. The power company paid for all the replacements because the strike happened upstream of the meter. The smoke in the garage was I think from some rags near the driveway that were smoldering. The firefighters said the chunks from the driveway were where it had travelled under the driveway and struck the little tree. (I'm thinking the bolt up from the ground essentially came up in multiple branches, some of which exploded up from the driveway).

Then, when I was in high school, living in a different house, I was standing at the kitchen window and saw lightning strike a light pole in the middle of our property, probably 50 feet away. It was a wooden telephone pole, and chunks of it were blown out from it. I must have been a little dazed, because I walked outside and was looking at it, before I realized what I was doing -- standing next to a pole that just got hit by lightning, in a thunderstorm. I ran back inside. No other damage that time.

Last edited by eschrodinger; 08-15-2019 at 10:49 AM.
  #40  
Old 08-15-2019, 11:04 AM
DesertDog is offline
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Originally Posted by Mama Zappa View Post
When i was 6 or so, a tree was hit right in front of our house - perhaps 40 feet away from me. Killed that tree dead.
Similar story but I was an adult visiting my parents place in southern Virginia and it was more like sixty feet. We were inside looking out at the storm and like others have recounted, you don't really see a bolt, just a bright light everywhere followed by a greenish afterimage. I suppose the sound was a bit muffled as well, but you couldn't tell by us. The tree was not only killed dead but toasted dry as well. It was cut up for free firewood with no delay for it to season.

Last edited by DesertDog; 08-15-2019 at 11:05 AM.
  #41  
Old 08-15-2019, 11:07 AM
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I was golfing with two buddies about 25 years ago at a small par 3 course in Rockaway Queens. When we were on the 2nd or 3rd hole some weather started up, and several golfers fled the course. Being "tough" guys with some beers in us, we laughed it off and played on. Then around the fifth hole we were standing at the tee when a huge bolt of lightning struck. All three of us fell down and then got up and ran in 3 separate directions we were so panicked. I felt an electric shock go through my shoulders. We re-grouped and headed over to get some cover. Someone in a larger group assembled said "wow did you see that lightning?" I said "Yeah, it hit us!" There was some laughter and someone said that it struck "that big tree right there" about 30-40 feet from where we were, so our guess was that it traveled along the wet grass to where we were standing. Scary!!!! We always joke now about that day we got struck by lightning.
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:42 PM
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In Africa a bolt of lightning hit close enough to my house that it turned on an outdoor fluorescent light that I never used, because I thought it was dead or the switch was broken. It went off after a few hours. I was freaked out.
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:33 PM
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I was at an outdoor festival in Germany when a huge storm hit out of nowhere. I was with my husband and 4 small children, and we ran by a grove of trees and got under the eave of a bathroom.

All of a sudden there was a huge lightning strike in the grove of trees and 13 people were injured. We were only a few feet away and it was soooo scary!

https://www.novinite.com/articles/10...olt+in+Germany
  #44  
Old 08-15-2019, 09:39 PM
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Summer of 1959, Sallisaw OK. Small storm came right at us as we just finished bailing the hay,
Two of us were sitting under the old tarp we had thrown over the tractor-baler rig. I was sitting on an unused roll of bailing wire.
In the next instant I was standing about ten feet away,out in the rain with no knowledge of how I got there. I was told that lightning hit the baler and 4 fingers of lightning came from the baler straight into my back and that I had actually jumped right through the tarp, (it was an old one) in one leap. I had 4 yellow dents in my back.

Then in 1977 My family, wife & two kids, a military friend his girlfriend were on his Catalina 27 sailing in Savanna Bay.
While going back in, a T storm came fast from the land onto the bay sporting double lightning strikes, marching right at us, the wind rose quickly to 'way too much.' Dropped all sail and ran downwind at times over hull speed with the keel kissing the bottom in some of the troughs of the growing waves. Sent all women & kids below, inserted the companionway hatch I was just moral support for my friend as he kept us down wind. I felt the voltage going up and the mast started making a kind of 'crinkling' sound I knew we were about to get hit. I yelled to my friend Fred to watch out and then boom. Next I knew I was flat on my back on the cockpit sole looking right up Fred's backside and I hurt all over. I stayed there until we were in calmer water/weather before trying to get up because Fred had to get up on the seat and help pull me out of the hole I was in.
Later, he told me he felt the voltage also and then lightning hit the mast, ran down the port mainstay stay and jumped into my left shoulder.

I later told him we had a great adventure. he said , 'Yeah, I was scared s***less too.'

Two days later he found his boat sunk at the dock. Come to find out the strike had made a small hole in the hull right next to the keel.

I do worry about a 'third' time occasionally, but I am careful so, "so far, so good.

Adventure, terror in retrospect.
  #45  
Old 08-17-2019, 12:41 PM
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Our house was struck by lightning. It hit the TV antenna, which was mounted on the chimney. At the time, we were in our (upstairs) bedroom/bathroom getting ready for work, so it was probably 10-20' over our heads.. .
Similar story here. Lightning strike to the roof antenna about 1998. Antenna motor fired. Tabletop antenna controller fragmented with plastic flying in all directions, but without harming anyone or damaging anything else. The TV and VCR never worked again, but there was no visible damage to them except small scorch marks near the connectors.

Another time, lighting struck a tree maybe 20 feet from where I was walking. I fell to my knees. I didn't decide to drop to my knees as a safety precaution. I was walking, then I found myself on my knees before I consciously realized lightning had struck.
  #46  
Old 08-18-2019, 10:27 AM
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Oooh! I'd forgotten. The same neighborhood the firewood tree was in, my parents and I were coming back to their house and were about 200 yards away when there was a bright flash and an instant boom. "That was close."

An hour later the neighbor across the street was knocking on the door, asking if he could use the phone because his was out -- it was their house it struck. They had just got back from some place when they opened the door to a small amount of chaos. Judging from the damage, the bolt had struck the chimney, blowing several bricks off then jumped to the radiant heating system they had in the ceiling. The thermostat had been blown off and you could see where the wires zig zagging back and forth under the plaster had gotten hot enough to scorch the plaster.

Their golden retriever was unusually subdued and lying on his feet instead at them. I commented on that and he pointed to where a plastic plant in a basket that had been suspended from a bracket on the wall was now lying on the dog bed below it. The bracket was lying against the wall, dangling by one screw. "She's usually taking a nap about this time of the afternoon."
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:42 AM
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When my sister and I were approximately six and eight years old(ca. 1965), we were at my aunt's house watching TV on the floor about six feet from the screen when lightning struck the antenna on the roof, traveled to the TV causing the picture tube to implode with a loud bang, and caught the console box on fire.

About forty years later I was casually looking out my patio door during a thunderstorm when lightning struck a tree in my yard that was about thirty feet from the door. It struck the crotch of the tree about ten feet off the ground, traveled down to the lawn, and straight toward where I was standing. Fortunately it stopped when it hit the concrete patio. The foot-wide strip that was burned off the tree never grew bark again.
  #48  
Old 08-20-2019, 12:05 PM
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Here's some great dashcam footage of a strike from last week, I presume in China. I'm guessing the audio is NSFW if you speak Cantonese.
  #49  
Old 08-20-2019, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JoseB View Post
Hi evereybody! This morning there was a rather spectacular electric storm here in The Hague.

I was going to work in my car when lightning struck a house right as I was driving next to it. Holy FUCK, was that scary!! There was an almighty flash of light, and the most horrendously loud noise I've ever heard. I was so shocked (hah...) and scared that I almost lost control of my car; fortunately there was not much traffic. The flash was so bright that I had afterimages for a little while.

I estimate that lightning fell not more than about 10-15 m away from me. The house looked OK afterwards; I guess that it had a lightning rod installed.

Has anybody else here had lightning striking close by? Mind sharing your experiences?
Even more interesting considering that the Netherlands does not get many hits (~1-2 strikes per km^2 per year) on average compared to most places (Map). I've always lived in an orange area of 10-30.
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