Monday, March 17, 2014
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ALBANY — Albany Fire Department Chief James Carswell confirmed that three Albany homes were stuck by lightning Sunday during a 90-minute period over a five-square mile area as a line of severe thunderstorms swept across the state.
The first strike occurred at 12:30 p.m. on 1911 Homewood Drive causing minimal damage. The second strike hit 40 minutes later 1200 West Gordon Ave. causing a fire in the house’s attic. The third occurred at 1:45 p.m. at 3500 Wicklow Road where lightning struck the home’s roof, causing a small attic fire which was extinguished by a neighbor.
“We had three lightning strikes on homes Sunday,” Carswell said. “It’s abnormal, but we are seeing more lightning strikes on houses lately. Sometimes lightning will strike the structure and fry every electronic device in the house as it runs through the building. Sometime it will strike the ground close to the house and send a surge of electricity through the building.
“There’s really not a whole lot you can do about a lightning strike. If it’s going happen it’s going happen.”
In Tallahassee, Fla., National Weather Services’ Don Harrigan said Monday that lightning strikes on structures is not that unusual and concluded that Sunday was “just Albany’s day for it.”
“No, lightning strikes on homes is not unusual,” Harrigan said. “I would say you guys were more unlucky than anything. That storm that moved through the area was a good producer of of lightning and in this case it was literally hit or miss.”