Lightning explodes tree


Barely missed house

By Dan Pennington - dpennington@civitasmedia.com



The nearly century old tree was split in two and exploded 40 feet in all directions.


Photos by Dana Latham

Skip Robinson lives on Estelle Lane where the lightning destroyed his tree Sunday morning.


Photos by Dana Latham

Durant has had its share of electrical storms, with thunder, this past weekend.

Estelle Lane in west Durant was no exception.

Skip Robinson and his wife Wilma live in the 1800 block of Estelle next door to James Latham.

Robinson’s nearly century old tree exploded when it was struck by lightning Sunday morning.

One witness, Dana Latham, James’ daughter said, “The bark exploded 40 feet in all directions.”

James Latham lives next door to the Robinsons.

He told his neighbor after the storm that he was looking out the front door about the time it happened.

Robinson said, “Mr. Latham told me he saw everything turn a strange yellow color and it made a huge pop when the lightning hit.”

Lightning is always frightening to most people, especially when accompanied by thunder.

Robinson said, “We heard it in the house, I jumped, my cat jumped and I went out to see it.”

It was Sunday morning just before 7:30 when the strike happened.

The tree fell in such a way, the Robinsons could not get their car out of the garage for church and they had to call to get a ride.

Robinson said Latham told him that television weather was reporting just before the lightning, that the storm was moving out of Bryan County, but to “be aware of lightning.”

Latham told the Democrat that three Estelle Lane houses, his, Robinson’s and another have all been hit before.

Latham said, “On this one, I saw this orangish, yellow color and was the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard. It was very close.

He said, “Years ago, in my backyard, one hit. I had gone into my shop. I heard a loud noise and I saw my trees blowing all over the backyard. This time, I didn’t know the tree was down. I went upstairs and then I see this huge tree about a foot from my house, covering Skip’s drive completely. It blew the bark off the tree, clear across my yard. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”

Latham told a story about another neighbor who had a strange lighting occurrence several years ago.

Latham said, “He had one hit a tree on t he far side of his house. It went through the ground over about 10 feet, got in the sprinkler system wiring and came back around and set his garage on fire.”

Both Latham and Robinson are amazed that lightning keeps hitting their property and trees.

Robinson said a small army from his church, Calvary Baptist, mobilized at his house Sunday and removed the tree in less than 2 hours.

He said 15 guys showed up to do the work. He was amazed, he said.

They say lightning never strikes twice, but Robinson said, “A strange thing, another tree was hit Monday. It could have been the wind, but it got another tree.”

Contact Dan Pennington at (580) 64-2162 or dpennington@civitasmedia.com

The nearly century old tree was split in two and exploded 40 feet in all directions.
http://www.durantdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_tree2-1.jpgThe nearly century old tree was split in two and exploded 40 feet in all directions. Photos by Dana Latham

Skip Robinson lives on Estelle Lane where the lightning destroyed his tree Sunday morning.
http://www.durantdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_tree1-1.jpgSkip Robinson lives on Estelle Lane where the lightning destroyed his tree Sunday morning. Photos by Dana Latham
Barely missed house

By Dan Pennington

dpennington@civitasmedia.com

comments powered by Disqus