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[TowerTalk] Yet Another Lightning Strike

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Yet Another Lightning Strike
From: "Keith Dutson" <>
Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2006 17:01:32 -0500
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This morning I was with the NARS (Northwest Amateur Radio Society) breakfast
group that meets at Denny's in northwest Houston every Saturday.  George
Edwards K5VUU showed up a bit later than usual.  He lives in the Memorial
Northwest subdivision adjacent to the restaurant so is usually the first one
there.  George is a real talker and began to explain that his house had been
hit by lightning Thursday and that he and his wife Nancy were now in
temporary residence at a local hotel.  He was on a plane returning from a
business trip to Africa when this happened.  Nancy was at home in the
kitchen on the phone when it hit.  The phone went dead and a few minutes
later a neighbor at the front door told her smoke was coming from the roof
and the fire department was on the way.  Here is the story:

George said the firemen determined the strike hit a point where all of the
plumbing comes together in the attic.  Ironically, this point is about
halfway between the Force12 C-3SS mounted on the roof and an 80M dipole
strung from trees.  So much for the cone of protection theory.

George said the house was saved but it would take at least six months to
repair.  All furniture and equipment has been removed and is being
"de-smoked."  He said the restoration company will de-assemble electric
components for the smoke removal process then re-assemble.  They must remove
the smoke residue to prevent corrosion.  He will have to check operation of
his shack equipment to make sure it all works properly when returned.  I
know he has a Yaesu FT1000MP and Alpha 87A.  Homeowners insurance will cover
most of the costs.

I used to live in the same subdivision about 200 yards (two streets away)
from George and recall it is usually a target for bad weather and many
lightning strikes.  This is likely because it is located in a former pine
tree forest.  I lost a 70 foot tower there when a violent storm passed
through early one morning with winds estimated at over 100mph.  My guy
system was the culprit because one came loose and the tower folded in half
at the bracket mounted on the eave at 30 feet.

73, Keith NM5G


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