Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lightning bolts and acts of man


A friend passed along this photo of the dramatic turbulence that swept through the San Francisco Bay Area last Thursday. I haven't been able to find out who should be credited for this amazing image.

But I sure recognize the storm. I was driving across the Bay and into the hills on the east side as this broke. It was terrifying. My four wheel drive vehicle was a godsend as we plowed through sudden flooding amid the flashes. According to the SF Chronicle:

Bolts hit the Transamerica Pyramid, towers on the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge, the giant container cranes at the Port of Oakland and an airplane that had just taken off from San Francisco International Airport for London.

But the most amazing story from this storm comes over on the east side of the Bay, from the Contra Costa Times.

MOUNT DIABLO -- A lightning bolt ricochet hit two campers huddled in their tent on Mount Diablo on Thursday night, burning holes in the tent and shaking the brothers but not stirring them from their campsite.

The Oakland men told park rangers they each had temporary numbness in part of their body -- one in the leg and one in the shoulder -- and one had a rash consistent with burn symptoms.

Despite torrential rain and the lightning scare, the brothers told a park official they planned to stay on top of the mountain Friday night as well.

While they were lucky to miss a direct hit from the lightning bolt that sheared off a water spigot 40 feet from their tent, then careened into their shelter, that's where the good luck stopped.

Alfred Janske, 59, and his disabled brother George Janske, 57, moved into the campground a week ago. They said they have been without a permanent home since their childhood home in Oakland was foreclosed on in March.

The tent that now shelters them and their three dogs has two holes where the electric current surged to strike two metal objects inside.

"We're camping because we don't have anywhere else to go," said Alfred Janske, an unemployed accountant. …

You can read it all at the link. The Lesser Depression is not over.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

This is unbelievable!!!!!

Great photos!!!!

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