Lightning destroys tree, damages homes

9:01 PM, Jun 11, 2011   |    comments
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Nobody in the neighborhood was hurt, but residents say the strike was a terrifying experience.

"It was an instant light and as soon as the light hit it is was an instant thunder," said neighbor Steve Kosarek. "I mean, it literally sounded like a bomb went off."

Kosarek said pieces of the tree fell all over the neighborhood.

"I came out to get my car in the garage in case there was any hail damage and I just couldn't believe what I saw. There were literally four to six foot pieces of wood in the street," he said.

The lightning caused a massive crack to form down the center of the tree, blew pieces of wood into the wall of a nearby home, and knocked a huge branch onto the roof of another house.

"I'll be honest with you, if somebody would have been walking past this house, there would be a different situation right now because I don't think anybody would be able to survive," Kosarek said.

Now, neighbors are trying to clean up the mess. Andy Carl Mondragon brought his chainsaw over to his sister's house and went to work on the huge branch that fell in her front yard, clearing off the driveway and making a path to her front door.

"I'm trying to break it down into smaller pieces so we can haul it off", Mondragon said. "It's not too bad though if you have the right kind of tools ... chainsaw and just cutting it up into smaller pieces and just have to haul away the damage."

He said it's a lot of work, and is also a big reminder of just how dangerous severe weather can be.

"Just a testament to nature's awesome power," he said.

Neighbors say they're going to have to call an arborist out to examine the tree. They say it's so badly damaged and cracked and is probably going to have to be completely removed.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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