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I Witnessed the Fury Of

Tuesday, June 12 2001

I witnessed the fury of nature last night as thunder storms stomped all over the tri-state area (I never thought I’d say tri-state area, but it’s just as equally stupid sounding as saying Southern California and thinking it sounds perfectly normal).I can say without question that lightning struck at least 3 times within 100-300 yards from me as I was standing in the fury taking pictures. It was probably a stupid thing to do but I’m from Southern California, and I think I’ve seen a thunderstorm like this maybe once in my life, so I wasn’t missing this.
I made sure I wasn’t the highest point on the land (I was surrounded by trees and telephones poles and 4 story building). One of the trees surrounding the clearing near my hotel was struck as I was standing there – I may have a picture of it happening, although I haven’t looked at the images yet. I was going to make sure to get a picture of the tree this morning but was running late to work.That tree was standing all proud and happy, and then WHAMMO! it exploded into a ball of fire. The camera was taking pictures in sequence as it hit with long exposures, so we’ll see if it shows up. The instant the lightning struck the thunder clap hit as well, and along with it rain and hail were suddenly drilling down. That was crazy, so I went back inside. I took more pictures out my window. The whole thing only lasted about 45 minutes but the power went out from a lightning strike (it was close by because the sky flashed about every color of the rainbow for a good 20 seconds after the first white flash). People at work here don’t seem to think that storm was a big deal, but to me it was like the world was crashing in. I think the fury of that storm got my adrenaline pumping more than a California earthquake ever has.
This morning I saw that lightning had struck a telephone pole near the parking lot of my hotel, and a building across the street, and a tree behind my hotel (the same one I mentioned).
I’ll post pictures of the storm later today.