Sunday, August 10, 2008

Lightning strikes

I nearly got zapped today. I was just coming out of the library when a very loud rumble of thunder happened almost overhead, and it started raining. Thanking my lucky stars that the car was parked close by, I kept going, though I didn't have an umbrella with me so I was getting a bit wet. And almost as I got to the entrance to the parking garage, a small bolt of lightning hit the ground on the other side of the street from me. A guy was walking towards me, on the same side of the street as the lightning hit on (with his umbrella up) and he just seemed frozen on the spot with fright. Then, half a second later, there came a loud clap of thunder from above, at which point the guy somewhat overdramatically chucked his umbrella by upending it and getting it as far away from himself as he could, and ran across the street to where I was, going "oh my god, oh my god". To which I asked if the lightning had hit him (though I was fairly sure it didn't, as I could see it went straight to the ground), and if he was OK. He was OK, but shaken up and kept saying "that landed two feet in front of me!" Then he sprinted off saying he was getting outta here, man. Leaving his umbrella on the sidewalk, which I eyed covetously for a moment before I decided it'd be better if I too got off the street and got into my car.

What I suspect happened is that the lightning actually struck the top of the building on that side of the street, and the building wasn't properly earthed, as it kind of looked to me that the lightning was coming out of a metal fixture on the side of the building. Which is why it only seemed like a small streak and not a major strike. But still. It certainly makes for a quick burst of adrenalin, I can tell ya.

And thank goodness I didn't ride the bike to the library! At least once you're in a car, you're safe (Faraday cage, and all that) - although I'm not sure I necessarily want to test out whether my hybrid's electronics will stand up to being fried, though.


bleu said...

WOW so glad you are ok!!!

calliope said...


& is it really awful that my 2nd thought was wondering if you got the guy's #??

Stephanie said...

Naw, she wouldn't want a pansy's phone number.

She needs a man who is at least as composed when almost hit by lightning as she is.

Almamay said...

I have a very healthy respect (and fear) of lightening. I was scared just reading your post. I don't blame that guy for loosing it a little. Lightening landing that close can have an effect on your nervous system even if it doesn't hit you.

Billy said...