Vertical stripe down our tree where lightning blew the bark off:
DJ and I were watching a movie today in my room. It had been raining, but the rain had mostly stopped. There was no wind, it was still a little cloudy and drizzly, but the sun was even coming out a little.
Suddenly, we heard the loudest CRACK! It sounded as if someone had discharged a shotgun in the room, but I could tell it came from outside. A flash of light filled the room, even with the shades drawn. The power went off in the house for a quick moment, then came back on. For a split second, I figured I’d been droned. Realizing I was still alive, I suddenly figured out that it was lightning. The sound and flash had been at the same moment, so I knew it had been nearby.
We looked out the window, and saw a stripe down the tree, and chunks of wood all over the backyard.
What a thing to happen on my 50th birthday! While we were never in any real danger, it’s pretty amazing to have lightning strike about 30 feet away, on the other side of a wall. It would have been pretty ironic to live the life I lived up to age 30, then make it to age 50 and get killed by lightning.
I am willing to bet that all the work and money I put into having our house wiring and grounding fixed, and buying surge protectors for all the gear may have saved the gear, or even our lives.
–Michael W. Dean
Here are pix of the wood chunks in the yard: