Truck struck by lightning during storm

Published 7:36 pm Thursday, June 3, 2010

Officials said Wisconsin resident Steve Allen was just trying tomake his way up Interstate 55 Wednesday when his 2005 GMC Canyonwas struck by a bolt of lightning during the day’s severeweather.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop M Public Affairs Officer Sgt.Rusty Boyd said the blow caused some exterior damage to the truck,but it also caused some interesting side effects.

“The horn was blowing and wouldn’t stop, and the left windowrolled down when the lightning struck, and the vehicle stopped,” hesaid. “They had to wait until the rain quit to try to pull somefuses to get the horn to stop blowing, and apparently they bumpedsomething and the window rolled itself back up.

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The incident occurred about 3:25 p.m., he said. Allen was notinjured.

Boyd said the lightning strike incident was the only damage hehad heard of in his troop’s jurisdiction.

Severe weather in the rest of Lincoln County brought a lot ofsound and fury, but thankfully, not a lot of damage thereeither.

Lincoln County Civil Defense Director Clifford Galey said theweather warnings began around 2:30 p.m. Between some severethunderstorm warnings and a tornado warning, they lasted untilabout 4 p.m.

“We had a lot of reports of hail and high winds and heavy rain,”he said. “We also had a tornado reported but it never touched downthat we know of.”

The funnel cloud was spotted by some Lincoln County residentschanging a tire in Bogue Chitto, as well as other storm spotters,Galey said.

The damage from the storm system was minimal. Galey said a homeon Freeman Road sustained some damage, and he mentioned the carbeing struck by lightning on Interstate 55 around mile marker30.

Up to dime-sized hail was reported in some areas of the lowerhalf of the county, officials said.

In the case that the weather does become severe again, the civildefense director reminded people to take appropriateprecautions.

“If you get caught in a hailstorm, get inside and under somekind of cover, but don’t be out in it,” he said. “It’s prettyobvious the damage it will do to your car or your home. Imaginewhat it could do to you.”

In the same vein, Galey said, it’s important to seek the safestplace possible when there are funnel clouds in the air. He said inthe case of the men changing their tires, a ditch or low-lying areawould have been good cover if the tornado had become an immediatethreat.

“If you’re outside, you need to find the lowest place you canget that’s not going to flood, and get in it until it’s over with,”he said.

The weather could continue to be dreary to severe for the nextseveral days, Galey said.

“From what I’ve seen, it looks like it could be rainy throughSaturday, and maybe Sunday,” Galey said.