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Sunday, August 21, 2011
It is not unusual for us to have some pretty severe thunderstorms during the hot summer months, particularly at the end of the day. In summer here, it is often oppressively humid and extremely hot. As five or six pm approaches, the temperature drops, The sky clouds, and the winds pick up. Sometimes there are tornadoes, though they are usually isolated. Then a rapidly occuring rainstorm with thunder and lightning occurs. Lightning strikes kill at least a few people each year and sometimes in heavily forested areas like our own, people in cars are killed when lightning and wind drops a heavy tree on a road where someone has been driving in their car.One of our relatives lost a horse due to being struck by lightning during an outdoor party. We try to come indoors as soon as a storm seems imminent, but this can be difficult when the same pattern of extreme heat resolving in an early evening storm goes on, sometimes for a week at a time. About a week ago, a terrible storm decimated one of our beautiful border trees, which looks as if it was afflicted by a spiral of lightning from the damage seen.
This was a good weekend. We went to an end of summer party being given by a dear friend at his farm, in part to promote a new record his label was releasing. His farm was lovely, and the music was very good. The kids not only enjoyed the party but they enjoyed helping with the set up, The food was catered and the entire event was casual. This was the first time in a very long time, that our family went to such a thing. The last outdoor party I recall, Daniel attended. Daniel would have loved this party. J even got some fishing in at the pond on the dock there.
Today (Sunday) was a quiet day afterward. We were catching up on work we didn't complete yesterday, when a storm came upon us quickly. We all headed to the house, but Adam who left for one of the outbuildings to close windows and unplug some electrical equipment there. Shortly after a huge green bolt of lightning hit the metal roofed building he was in. The breakers are blown there, and Adam's hearing is a little off from the severe clap of thunder which accompanied the strike, but he seems ok. He waited there for a little while, as it smelled a little like wood burning, and we have fire extinguishers in all the outbuildings. The electrical systems in all the other outbuildings appear also to have their breakers tripped.
I think it's time to consider lightning rods in addition to the grounding which has been done on each building when it was built. We are lucky that nothing more happened. I will have to check tomorrow to see that the phones still work in those buildings.
UPDATE: Later that evening the lightning returned blowing out a transformer. We were asleep when it happened, but woke when we heard power company repair trucks working nearby in the middle of the night. They were here all might, as the security system beeped, along with the carbon monoxide detector all night.