Lightning strike narrowly misses Vavenby woman

Vavenby resident had a narrow escape when her home was struck by lightning

Photo shows a chip that was blown out of the 2’x6’ post on the left. Attached to the outside of the post is the clothesline that the lightning passed along. Vavenby Fire Department’s thermal imager found the nails in the post were still hot some time later.

Photo shows a chip that was blown out of the 2’x6’ post on the left. Attached to the outside of the post is the clothesline that the lightning passed along. Vavenby Fire Department’s thermal imager found the nails in the post were still hot some time later.

By  Robyn Rexin

Vavenby resident Wendy Pollard had a narrow escape when her home was struck by lightning recently.

On Tuesday afternoon, June 30, a mighty storm with booming thunder, lightning, strong winds, and lashing rain hit Vavenby. The storm was a surprise. The rain was needed but came down so hard that it ran off the ground instead of soaking in.

Chuck and Wendy Pollards’ place was struck by lightning around 4:30 p.m. It first hit a fir tree about 10 feet from the ground and split the trunk on both sides to the top of the tree.

A clothesline was attached to the fir tree. The lightning strike went right through the clothesline and dried the clothes which were wet again from the rain. The clothes were not scorched or burned.

Wendy was standing in a covered patio that the other end of the clothesline is attached to.

The roof leaks so she was thinking of mopping up the water. While she was holding the bucket, lightning went through the patio right past her. She dropped the bucket. It made her heart race and Chuck told her that her hair was standing on end.

On its travel through the patio the lightning struck a 2”x6” post and took a chunk out of it. The force of the 2”x6” strike blew a piece of plywood out onto the pool deck and shook the whole house.

The lightning also hit the clothespins, which were in a container in a corner of the patio, and caused them to burn.

The Pollards phoned Vavenby Volunteer Fire Department but managed to get the fire out before the trucks arrived. The Pollards decided to have the department probe for any hot spots and check out the tree that was hit.

There were no power surges. Everything worked except the television. A new one had to be bought.

After their experience they went out for dinner and took their three dogs with them “just in case”. They consider themselves very lucky that they had been home. They feel that their house would have burned down if they had been away. Pollards have lived in their house for 38 years and nothing like this has ever happened before.