ALBANY Lightning associated with a strong line of thunderstorms that swept through the area Sunday night is believed to have caused a fire that damaged a Northwest Albany home.
According to the Albany Fire Department, a home at 2216 Golfcourse Drive, was struck by lightning shortly after midnight, sparking a fire in the attic of the home.
Within five minutes, the first fire units arrived and noticed "heavy smoke showing from the attic area," according to a report filed with the AFD.
The fire was contained to the attic area, according to the report, and did about $40,000 in damage before being contained and extinguished by firefighters.
It's the second time since 2008 that the home has been struck by lightning, fire officials say.
The Sunday-night storms brought heavy rains, wind, lightning and some hail to the area, causing sporadic power outages throughout Southwest Georgia.
Deputy Dougherty Emergency Management Agency Director Jim Vaught says that heat and volatile weather are a dangerous one-two punch this time of year.
"When you have this late afternoon...this tremendous heat, it causes volatility which brings in the thunderstorms and severe weather, lightning as we experienced last night, it was quite a show," Vaught said. "We turned on our sirens, we activated code red, we had the weather radios and we're asking people to take it seriously."
Vaught said that it's important that people have their emergency supply kits ready and a plan together in case of long-term power outages.
Those kits should include enough water, food, medicine and supplies to last three days. Additionally, items like knives and flashlights and batteries for radios are important.
The National Weather Service predicts that temperatures for the remainder of the week will be less than much of the region experienced over the weekend when most places climbed several digits above the century mark, but not by much.
Tuesday's high is expected to reach 97 degrees with a 30 percent chance for showers or thunderstorms. Independence Day will be a bit cooler, with the forecast calling for 95 degrees and again a 30 percent chance for rain. Thursday is expected to stay at the 95 degree mark before temps drop to 93 degrees on Friday when storm chances increase to 40 percent.
Vaught said now is the time people who routinely work outside or will be going outside during the hottest portions of the day should take care to stay hydrated.