Lightning Strike  

In Island Heights New Jersey

Photos And Story By Bonnie Browne


A One-legged Sandpiper Special Report





      The lightning entered near the water, traveled under the 90 foot flagpole towards the gazebo following some sort of wiring. It created a cartoon like trench about forty feet long, two feet wide, and a foot and a half deep. It went down about another foot to go under the gazebo and blew out the center of the concrete. At that time, it threw a piece of concrete the size of a basketball through the gazebo roof and across the roadway. It continued straight until it blew the concrete steps apart. It then made a sharp right turn and ran through historic Wannamaker Hall melting all of the porcelain fixtures inside. It flashed through several nearby houses and (As if this hasn't been odd enough, this is where is really starts to get wierd) circled around the parking lot, hit the boro hall and blew out several computer monitors, and then entered the post office. It thought water pipes when entering, so it sparked and smoked in the furnace room, blew the circuit breakers for the two bathrooms, melted the panel on our security system and for a grand finale blew the bottom of the toilet apart!
      They had to knock down the gazebo because it was structually unsound, but determined that the flagpole was still stable enough to stay up (I bet they get it grounded though!)
Now, you have to realize that all of this took place in about one second. Because there had been no thunder or lightning leading up to it, when the BOOM went off, everyone just stood totally still. I was in the customer lobby at the time (about 100 feet from the hit) and no one moved or said a word for about 20-30 seconds. We were waiting for a plane to come through the roof or something. The BOOM was heard as far away as Pine Beach and Lavallette and Toms River~~these people also saw the flash. Pictures were knocked off walls in nearby houses... it was quite a natural event.
      We had to have the fire company come to check for fire in the walls, and they came all suited up with masks and axes (very X-Files like). Because we weren't hit until the end, we did not lose power anywhere but in the bathrooms.
Interesting, huh?



1


      The lightning entered near the water, traveled under the 90 foot flagpole towards the gazebo following some sort of wiring.




       It created a cartoon like trench about forty feet long, two feet wide, and a foot and a half deep.

2



3


       It went down about another foot to go under the gazebo and blew out the center of the concrete.




      At that time, it threw a piece of concrete the size of a basketball through the gazebo roof and across the roadway.

4



5


      It continued straight until it blew the concrete steps apart. It then made a sharp right and ran through historic Wannamaker Hall melting all of the porcelain fixtures inside.




      It flashed through several nearby houses and (As if this hasn't been odd enough, this is where is really starts to get wierd) circled around the parking lot, hit the boro hall, blew out several computer monitors and then entered the post office. It thought water pipes when entering, so it sparked and smoked in the furnace room, blew the circuit breakers for the two bathrooms, melted the panel on our security system and for a grand finale blew the bottom of the toilet apart!

6



7


      They had to knock down the gazebo because it was structually unsound, but determined that the flagpole was still stable enough to stay up (I bet they get it grounded though!).



The complete path taken by the lightning.

08 Vhy Not A Horse?



Only once in the same place?



Let's hope so!



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