When lightning strikes, you probably do not want to be near me. I’ve never been directly struck by lightning, but too many times, it has struck close by. I opened my apartment door in Houston during a thunderstorm and the bolt hit just outside my door. All my hair stood on end as I closed the door. I’ve been inside multiple houses when bolts struck the house directly in front of where I sat.
My favorite occurrence of near misses occurred in Pensacola, FL. One of the main thoroughfares is a wide, straight road with regularly-spaced power transformers on poles. I was driving home in a violent thunderstorm, when a lightning bolt flashed through the air, striking a transformer as I passed. Boom! The transformer exploded in sparks. I was startled, but I continued. Boom! The next transformer exploded with another bolt as I passed. A third transformer met the same fate as I drove by it. Boom! Followed by the fourth! Boom!
Grateful to have finally traversed the stretch of the road with the power lines, I now had to cross railroad tracks. Just before I reached the tracks, lightning struck the rails on my right. The electricity sparked as it rushed down the rails in my direction! I floored my car’s gas pedal hoping to outrun the approaching sparks. “Don’t touch the frame of the car,” I told myself. “Surely my rubber tires will protect me.” But after the four power poles, I raced across the tracks just in time and I didn’t have to find out.
So, if you’re ever near me with lightning in the area, you might want to move away. 😊
Elaine A.Powers loves an adventure and never sits still for long. She also writes stories for children that feature adventurous non-human characters, such as Grow Home, Little Seeds.