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[TowerTalk] Lightning Stories

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Lightning Stories
From: (M.G. Brafford)
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 1998 19:02:13 -0400
Dear TowerTalk,
    There seems to be a great deal of interest in true lightning stories.
At this point in time I am ailing with some kind of eye infection, but as
soon as I can see well again I'll post a few lightning "war" stories. These
stories are based on 30 years with the Telephone Company, and a friend who
has 27 years with AEP. Another friend who works with the local cable
company has a few stories to add also. If my eyes hold out i'll pass along
one story from my AEP friend.
     As told to me, one evening they got an emergency callout to go to a
home in Stone Mountain, VA near Smith Mountain Lake. This area is one of
the worst in VA for lightning hits. Upon arrival they found their pole
mounted transformer blown to bits. They inspected the pole and found a mean
looking burn starting from a smoking hole in the ground and going up to
where the transformer use to be. The hole was big enough to drop a large
truck tire in laid on its side. Just as they about to start work, a
customer came running across the road toward them. They said the man was
almost out of his mind with fear. Seems as though he and his new wife had
just rented the house and this was the first night they had spent there. As
he relayed the story, the young woman had asked her new husband if there
was a lightning problem there, cause most of the locals know Smith Mountain
is horrible for lightning. He reportedly told not to worry, this place was
okey. Well, about 10:00PM a BAD storm started brewing. She was terrified at
the sound of close in thunder booms, and asked her husband to "lets git
outta here". He told her to go on to bed, everything would be okey. Just
about that time the BIG STRIKE hit. According to the customer, the bolt hit
the clothes line pole in the backyard vaporizing it. then it burrowed
underground to the other clothes line pole and vaporized it. The charge
continued under ground digging a very large round hole for about 30 yards.
As it reached the AEP power pole it blasted out of the ground and seared up
the pole to the transformer and blew it to kingdom come. Giant balls of red
flame blew out like a 4th of july firecracker. After the blast the
customers new wife, white with fear grabbed the car keys and got the he**
out of there! Not being able to finish the job that night the AEP men came
back the next day. Seeing the customer they asked if he was alright. "Yeah
he replied, but I ain't seen HER since the explosion!"

73, Mick  W4YV   

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