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Old 05-13-2005, 11:51 PM   #1
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Something odd happened at work today...

I had just arrived at work, and not five minutes later, a bright FLASH and a simultaneous BANG herralded the fact that we just took a lightning strike to the building. I found out a few minutes later, that the bolt travelled from the roof, through the building, into the basement, where it exploded out a pipe and into wall. One of our housekeeping employees saw it, and heard the resulting INDOOR thunderclap. The shockwave knocked her across that room in the basement. Although she was fortunate to not have been electrocuted, she did suffer some hearing loss in one ear. I'm not sure if it's permanent or not.

About 30 minutes later, we found out another casualty of the lightning strike; our computerized ordering system managed to get a bit of the strike, and although none of the equipment was burned out, it wasn't working. A technician managed to get it working, but an hour after he left, it went down again. Most of the night I was on "old school" ordering, reading hand-written tickets.

How was your day?


Peace, Love, and Vegetable Rights!
Eat Meat and Save the Plants!
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Old 05-14-2005, 12:10 AM   #2
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Close call! Am glad to hear there were no serious injuries.


"A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness"----Ella Schiaparelli
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Old 05-14-2005, 12:15 AM   #3
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Sounds like a very interesting day at work. We had lightning in our area, too. But it was not that close!! Hopefully, your coworker has not suffered any permanent hearing damage.

Every year when our temporary employees start work at the ranger station, we give them a safety presentation on lightning and it is a good refresher for the permanent workforce, also. Working out in the forest with lightning strikes happening all around can be a very frightning experience.

Here is some good general information from the National Lightning Safety Institute.


As we head towards summer and lightning storms become more frequent across the United States it is important to practice lightning safety. Be safe and have a fun summer!!

Personal Lightning Safety Tips

1. PLAN in advance your evacuation and safety measures. When you first see lightning or hear thunder, activate your emergency plan. Now is the time to go to a building or a vehicle. Lightning often precedes rain, so don't wait for the rain to begin before suspending activities. 2. IF OUTDOORS...Avoid water. Avoid the high ground. Avoid open spaces. Avoid all metal objects including electric wires, fences, machinery, motors, power tools, etc. Unsafe places include underneath canopies, small picnic or rain shelters, or near trees. Where possible, find shelter in a substantial building or in a fully enclosed metal vehicle such as a car, truck or a van with the windows completely shut. If lightning is striking nearby when you are outside, you should:

A. Crouch down. Put feet together. Place hands over ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder.

B. Avoid proximity (minimum of 15 ft.) to other people.

3. IF INDOORS... Avoid water. Stay away from doors and windows. Do not use the telephone. Take off head sets. Turn off, unplug, and stay away from appliances, computers, power tools, & TV sets. Lightning may strike exterior electric and phone lines, inducing shocks to inside equipment.

4. SUSPEND ACTIVITIES for 30 minutes after the last observed lightning or thunder.

5. INJURED PERSONS do not carry an electrical charge and can be handled safely. Apply First Aid procedures to a lightning victim if you are qualified to do so. Call 911 or send for help immediately.


Teach this safety slogan:

"If you can see it, flee it; if you can hear it, clear it."

Please reprint & distribute.
Prepared by the
National Lightning Safety Institute, Louisville, CO.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Theodore Roosevelt
26th president of US (1858 - 1919)
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Old 05-14-2005, 12:56 AM   #4
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The following website has some great posters.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Theodore Roosevelt
26th president of US (1858 - 1919)
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Old 05-14-2005, 09:20 AM   #5
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what an interesting day allen. i'm glad nobody was seriously hurt.
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Old 05-14-2005, 09:28 AM   #6
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Gee that must have been scary. So glad no one was seriously injured. You can't really protect your self when it happens that fast. Florida is supposed to be the lightening capitol of the world but I've seen very little in my 30 + years here. (except for the hurricanes, saw enough of then last year to last a lifetime).
Lord, put your arms around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.
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Old 05-14-2005, 12:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by AllenMI
How was your day?
Relatively speaking I guess not bad at all!!!!

Glad basically everyone and everything was ok.

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
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Old 05-14-2005, 02:49 PM   #8
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allen, god is watching you...

no more saying bad things about annoying customers.
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Old 05-14-2005, 03:35 PM   #9
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Occasionally Mother Nature decides to show us how powerful she is.
...and that's the way it is in northern Minnesota.
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Old 05-14-2005, 03:59 PM   #10
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Very true! I've been close enough to a lightning strike that I felt the pressure wave. It felt like I got punched in the chest and my ears were ringing for a good hour and a half! Luckily, I was looking down at the time! Three years ago we had a storm with intense lightning pass over the course and it knocked out our irrigation system, which is computer controlled. It took about three weeks of digging and replacing solenoids on the irrigation heads and replaced two satellite boxes that cost us about $22,000 bucks.

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