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March 6, 2011 • Gear Bits

Proven True! Lightning Doesn’t Strike the Same Place Twice

Lightning; My First Try
Creative Commons License photo credit: Kuzeytac

You know the old saying that lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice? Well, now I have definitive proof that this is absolutely true. Yup, Lightning Does Not Strike The Same Place Twice!

Years ago our house in the mountains suffered a direct lightning strike. How do I know that is the case? I know because it was the middle of the afternoon on Saturday and a huge storm front was coming through. Our golden retriever (she was still with us) and I were taking an afternoon siesta in the den; I LOVE afternoon naps when a thunder-storm is taking place! All of the sudden it sounded like an explosion rocked the house. We both jumped through the roof. It was one of the loudest things I have ever heard. At that same instant all the lights went out. Yes, lighting had struck. We could see the spot on the chimney where the lightning bolt hit and a number of the fuses had been tripped. Other than that, thankfully, there was no real damage. That was lightning strike number one.

Fast forward a few years. We received a call from our neighbor who watches the house for us when we are not there for an extended period of time. He had some bad news to share. The house had suffered significant damage because of a lightning strike and needed a ton of work to make it inhabitable once again. That neighbor is also our electrician and so he got to work repairing the damage. All told he had to open up at least half of the walls, redo most of the wiring and we needed to replace the septic pump, the refrigerator and the stove. It cost a small fortune to get everything fixed up and running again. And we HAD a lightning strike box in place. There is no guarantee such a device works and, this time, it did not. That was a lightning strike number two.

I know what you are thinking. “Didn’t you start this post by saying that lightning DOESN’T strike the same place twice?”

I did, and it does not. No, lighting does not strike the same place twice; it strikes the same place three times.

Yes, we received an e-mail yesterday from our friend the electrician and he told us that a direct it had happened yet again. Luckily for us there was no damage this time. No, after lightning strike number two, we got smart and installed a super heavy-duty lightning strike prevention box. It cost hundreds of dollars but it worked. I would say that is money well-spent!.

This proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that lightning does not strike the same place twice. No, the best we can now offer is that: Lightning doesn’t strike the same place four times… Yet.

One Response to " Proven True! Lightning Doesn’t Strike the Same Place Twice "

  1. bluemonq says:

    Actually, if you were to move into a building like the Sears Tower or the Empire State Building you would find that lighting strikes the same place dozens of times in a year.

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