Lightning strikes near Port Angeles brewery, damages transformer

PORT ANGELES — The explosion of thunder that startled city residents at about 10 p.m. Sunday was preceded by a lightning bolt that struck a tree on West 19th Street, shutting down a brewery about 30 feet away and damaging a city transformer.

For Barhop Brewing LLC owner Tom Curry, the strike’s aftermath brought to mind the “Tremors” movie franchise, which revolves around hidden monsters that raise the earth on their underground travels.

“The lightning energy followed the route line toward our building and the building adjacent to us,” Curry said late Monday afternoon.

“It’s like Tremor tubes running along the surface of the ground.

“I guess the electrical power pushed up the dirt.”

Curry leases the 3,000-square-foot 2506 W. 19th St. building at the Airport Business Park from the Port of Port Angeles.

The strike blew the circuits in the electrical panels.

“We have no power yet today,” Curry said, adding at about 4 p.m. Monday that it was too early to estimate the extent of repairs.

A city transformer about 45 feet from the tree also was damaged and will be replaced, he added.

City officials did not return calls for comment Monday on the transformer’s condition.

About 18 hours after the lightning strike, the temperature was holding steady in the brewery’s walk-in refrigerator.

Curry said he has enough beer for now to supply his Barhop bar and eatery on Railroad Avenue.

“We lost a brew day today and it’s summertime,” Curry said.

“It’s gonna put a crimp in our inventory, but we’ll manage.

“If we go a week or two [without power], we’re going to have a problem.”

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.

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