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[TowerTalk] Lightning Stories

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Lightning Stories
From: (David Fouchey)
Date: Thu, 04 Jun 1998 21:56:25 -0400
Mick as a 24 year Railroad Communications type your story reminded me of my
most vivid lightening encounter, the upshot of it is it HURTS LIKE HE
double hockey sticks! (and that was just from a ground stroke inducing a
charge into an open wire telephone line...blew me out of the phone box I
was running a case of trouble in, came out of a blue sky at that.) My left
hand still twitches and that was over twelve years ago, just glad I wasn't
at ground zero. I have a very healthy respect for the stuff let me tell ya.
At 07:02 PM 6/4/98 -0400, M.G. Brafford wrote:
>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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