Northland family witnesses lightning strike from a few feet away - KCTV5 News

Northland family witnesses lightning strike from a few feet away

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Pieces came flying off a tree when lightning struck near 113th Terrace and Virginia in the Northland and the family who witnessed it was just a few feet away.

If they'd stepped outside moments sooner they might have been badly hurt.

The massive blast was just a few feet from Tracy Smith’s mother’s doorstep. It was a lightning strike they didn’t expect when they stepped outside to head home.

“It's something I hope I never experience again,” said Smith.

She said that, just as she opened the door, she saw a white flash and felt the blast.

“It threw us back into the house,” she said. “We all fell down.”

Smith had heard thunder rumbling earlier, but never thought she'd be so close to a lightning strike.

“It was just a lot of pressure,” she said. “It hurt, kind of. My ears were ringing and I was shaken up.”

The explosion scattered splinters and bits of bark all over her mother's yard. They went through a window screen and a few even hit Smith.

“A piece of the tree scratched my leg,” Smith said. “Another piece hit my head and my mother-in-law's head.”

A 6-foot long section of the tree trunk just missed her car.

“This piece came flying off the car when it got hit,” Smith explained. “This is the biggest piece off the tree. It was just scary.”

Smith is thankful her family wasn't seriously hurt, but she hopes the old wives’ tale rings true and that lightning won't strike in the same place twice.

“That was too close for comfort for me,” she said. “Too close.”

According to the National Weather Service, approximately 30 people are killed by lightning every year in the U.S. and another 270 are hurt.

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