Lightning strikes tree in front of central Alberta house

A poplar tree split open after a lightning strike about three kilometres southeast of Alix in central Alberta. The tree is about 25 metres from Richard Brooks’ home. Photo contributed

It was the loudest boom Kaity Marcotte has ever heard.

She was sitting on her couch Monday afternoon in the village of Alix, east of Red Deer. At around 4:45 p.m., the sky around her house lit up.

“I heard the loudest boom at the same moment the lightning struck, and it lit up the whole sky around us,” Marcotte said, adding she was worried it had hit her house.

Marcotte went outside and looked around to see where it had hit, but didn’t see anything. She quickly darted back inside her home to take cover, in case the lightning struck again.

The storm was brief. Marcotte said it was pouring hard, and that’s when the lightning hit, and moments later, it was sunny again.

Marcotte has lived in the area for about two years and believes storms in the area are intense. She said it could be because she and her neighbours across the street, are on a bit of a hill, while the rest of the area is flat.

The neighbours, Richard and Connie Brooks, were not home when the lightning struck. They came home Monday evening to find debris strewn outside their house from a poplar tree that had been split open.

Connie Brooks believed the debris was from a truck hauling wood, “because there was shredded wood on the road as we drove by.”

“When we drove in the yard, the mess continued along with bark, and I couldn’t completely understand what had happened.”

Her husband then saw a tree, about 25 metres from the couple’s house, had been struck. He said the couple has witnessed lightning strikes in the past, but never so close to their house.

“We were quite shocked at the destruction,” he said.

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