A sudden bright light and crash of thunder alarmed North Platte residents at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning in the center of town.A few minutes later, a fire crew responded to a report that a house was hit.
Fire department Battalion Chief Dave Heitman said the lightening hit the home of Dave Bell at 315 West Second.
Heitman said there was some exterior damage to the chimney and roof of the house, where the bolt evidently hit.
Inside, “there was a little bit of dry wall that broke off the walls…and probably some wiring damage," Heitman said.
Bell was the only one at home, Heitman said. He was not injured and the lightning strike did not cause a fire.
• Avoid water, high ground and open spaces.
• Stay away from metal objects including wires, fences and motors.
• Find shelter in a sizable building or in a fully enclosed metal vehicle. Completely close the windows and don’t lean on the doors.
• Don’t get under a small canopy, small picnic shelter or near trees.
• If you cannot take shelter indoors, crouch down with your feet together and place your hands over your ears to minimize hearing damage from the thunder.
• Stay at least 15 feet away from other people.
• Avoid water and stay away from doors and windows.
• Do not use landline telephone or headsets. Cell phones are safe.
• Turn off, unplug and stay away from appliances, computers, power tools and televisions sets as lightning may strike exterior electric and phone lines inducing shocks to equipment inside.
After the Storm
• Don’t resume activities until at least 30 minutes after the last lightning strike or thunderclap.
• Call 911 immediately if anyone is injured and use first aid procedures. Lightning victims do not carry an electrical charge, so it is safe to administer medical treatment.
Protect Your Home
Surge Protective Devices
• These systems protect electronic and electrical appliances from all but the most severe electrical surges or direct strikes.
• They should be installed at all items to be protected. A good electrical grounding system is essential.
Whole House Surge Protection
A whole house surge protection system can be installed on the electric meter or the electrical panel to help protect the appliances and electronic equipment in your house such as computers, TVs and DVD players.
Contact your local electric company for installation information. If your utility company doesn’t offer the service, a qualified electrician can install this device at your electrical panel.
Lightning Protection Systems
These systems provide a direct path for lightning to follow to the ground rather than through the house structure and its wiring.
Consult a qualified contractor (UL-listed/LPI-certified or qualified electrician) for installation.
For information on protecting your family and home from severe weather, visit FLASH. To learn more about protecting your home from lightning. visit the FLASH YouTube Channel.
FLASH ® is the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is the country's leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. FLASH collaborates with more than 120 partners.