Tree explodes after being hit by lightning - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tree explodes after being hit by lightning

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Mike Fereday was on vacation with his family when the lightning struck the tree next his house, ripping it to shreds.

“It came down in several pieces and took out another tree,” he said. “I think that tree saved the shed.”

The power of the strike was evident. The tree was completely shredded, and the damage doesn't end there. Huge pieces of the tree were thrown across the yard.

“It is everywhere,” Fereday said. “I've got it on the roof in the backyard, got a piece in my front entryway … It's amazing that it could go that far. It's like a bomb hit. It exploded.”

Dozens of people are killed by lightning in the U.S. every year. That's why the National Weather Services recommends if you hear thunder, seek shelter.

Sunday night, freelance storm chaser and KWWL contributor Danny Murphy was struck by lightning near Denison, Iowa. He's recovering in a Sioux City Hospital, but family said he's in incredible pain.

So despite the damage, the mess in Fereday's yard is a blessing in disguise.

“Oh absolutely,” he said. “The most important thing is no one was injured. Things can be fixed.”

The NWS has these recommendations on lightning safety:

Lightning: What You Need to Know

NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area!!

If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.

When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up.

Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

Indoor Lightning Safety

Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.

Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.

Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.

Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.

Last Resort Outdoor Risk Reduction Tips

If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby the following actionsmay reducee your risk:

Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks

Never lie flat on the ground

Never shelter under an isolated tree

Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter

Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water

Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.)

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