With a loud bang, lightning strikes two houses in Sequim
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Clallam County Fire District 3 personnel inspect the roof of a home at 80 Craftsman Way in Sequim after a lightning bolt struck the unoccupied house this morning.

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM –– Lightning struck two houses and streets were flooded by a torrential thunderstorm that swept over the Dungeness Valley on Friday.

Fire crews were called to Marie Howes' house at 90 Elizabeth Lane and an unoccupied house at 80 Craftsman Way after both were reported struck by lightning during a brief storm at about 11 a.m.

No injuries were reported.

Howes said she was putting clothes in the closet when she heard a “bang” that “scared the socks off me.”

Uninjured, she walked in her living room, where she noticed a “smell of ozone” and a portion of wall that had been knocked in from the force of the bolt.

Lightning struck the corner drain spout on her house and traveled down the gutter, knocking exterior molding loose at a number of spots, including around the garage fronting Elizabeth Lane.

She said her automatic garage door opener was out of service, as was the new television in her living room. Her other television sets worked fine.

Insurance may cover the damage, though she was unsure if it would be more than her deductible.

“I've got a party to go to tonight. At least I'll have a heck of a story,” she said.

A line of shingles on the north-facing wall of the Craftsman Way house were damaged and smoldering at about noon after Clallam County Fire District 3 crews were called to inspect the home.

Susan Lagerquist, who lives a few houses up the street, said she was awakened from her nap by a “loud pop” and went outside to discover the plastic cover for her sprinkler control system had been blown off.

The same thing happened to other houses on the block.

Streets in the city were flooded by the downpour, which clogged the city's storm drains.

Meteorologist Josh Smith with the National Weather Service in Seattle said a gauge on West Sequim Bay Road recorded 0.11 inches of rain in about 15 minutes.

“But I think that was on the edge of the storm,” he said. “It sounds like it might have been heavier to the south and east.”

Smith said forecasters had been watching the thunderstorm, a rarity for the North Olympic Peninsula, develop over the last couple of days.

Warm air rose from the valley to collide with a cold front in the upper atmosphere and create the storm conditions, he said.

“All the conditions were right for a thunderstorm,” he said.
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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 09. 2014 11:35PM
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