Lightning leaves mark on home
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | July 09,2013
Anthony Edwards / Staff Photo
Chris Dalglish holds a lantern up to a hole in his basement wall that was caused by a lightning strike during Sunday evening’s storm. The lightning blew out the home’s electrical box leaving the family without power for most of the evening.
Lightning knocked a hole in a Victor Place house in Rutland on Sunday.
Owner Jim Dalglish said his power was out until late Monday afternoon and that a 6-inch hole through to the outside remains in his basement wall.
Dalglish, who lives with his wife and three children, was home when the storm rolled in around 6 p.m. Sunday.
“I was sitting on the couch watching a golf tournament,” he said Monday afternoon. “The rain started — we heard the thunder far away.”
Then it got much closer.
“I was looking out the window,” Dalglish said. “It just, for a second, completely whitewashed my vision.”
Dalglish said his first thought was of his son, who had been on the porch, but who turned out to be unharmed. The power was out, and the family began checking the house. They found the hole in the wall of the basement and called the nonemergency number for the Rutland police.
Dalglish said he was impressed when a fire engine arrived 15 minutes later.
“Everything was OK internally,” Dalglish said. “There were no flames.”
Dalglish said the lightning hit the main power line coming into the house and blew out their electrical box. He said both a firefighter and an electrician told him they had never seen anything like it.
The family passed the evening without power.
“My son had an iPod with a movie on it — the kids survived the night,” Dalglish said. “By the time the electrician left and everything calmed down, it was 10 o’clock and we just went to bed.”
Dalglish said he does not have a damage estimate yet, but has been assured that his insurance policy will cover the lightning strike. He also said the hole was under an overhang and no water has gotten into the basement.
This was the second time the Dalglish home has suffered storm damage in recent years — he said the 2007 nor’icane knocked a tree across their fence and pool.
Rutland City Police Sgt. John Sly said there may have been other buildings damaged by lightning strikes and that police checked the city’s churches Sunday to make sure none of the spires had been hit. Sly said lightning is unpredictable.
“Electric energy will find its most direct path to the ground,” he said. “Obviously, there are a lot of tall buildings in our city and other things have been struck that are a lot closer to the ground.”