Jan 21, 2010 11:31 PM by Ariel Wesler

Lightning severely damages Lompoc home

The damage caused by a single lightning strike can be truly amazing. The Streetman family from Lompoc has been without power since yesterday morning when lightning lit up their palm tree and the blast did even more.

The amount of damage is shocking and it all happened almost instantly.

"The lights went out. Everything went dark and then through the open curtains, I saw flames," said Nita Streetman, a Lompoc resident, whose home was damaged by a lightning blast.

Little did she know lightning hit her palm tree.

"It came right down the tree here. It blew the fence out. You can see where it's burned. This entire thing is burned," Streetman said.

She then gave me a full tour. The lightning spread inside the house--tearing apart this door and bending the deadbolt. It damaged five window panes, her car windshield, lights, fixtures, and the circuit box.

PG&E shut off their power in case the wiring inside the home is damaged.

"It might burn up the house if we were to turn on the electricity right now," Streetman said.

So, the Streetman's are relying on a generator and candlelight

The lightning blast that turned this neighborhood into a war zone was so powerful. It not only blew windows out on both sides of the street. It also damaged homes two blocks down.

Meanwhile, family members are helping with the cleanup and everyone remains pretty positive.

"It's something to talk about for years to come, you know, so it's a little excitement," Streetman said.

Streetman says she learned an important lesson. Don't ever have a tall tall tree in the yard again, but thankfully, her homeowners insurance is covering most of the damage.

No estimate yet on the total cost.


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