Sunday, April 13, 2008

Getting struck by lightning

So yesterday, while the pitch set up for the day's activities, we all got struck by lightning.

I'm totally serious.

How can a bunch of people get struck by lightning? We'll it's called a ground current, or a side flash - not sure what the heck we experienced, maybe one, maybe both Read about it here ...

Here's how it goes: Lightning strikes an open field, or something in an open space (in this case a light pole), and if the conditions are right, the electrical current zaps anyone in the area. In this case, a wet field = the right conditions. I think we're all very glad that the individual closest to to light pole was wearing giant rubber galoshes, and spared what could have been a life-stealing jolt.

So anyway, we're futzing about the field, it's a light drizzle with a few dark clouds, but certainly nothing scary. Then WHAM! A flash, a bang, and then a TAZER to the head!

Most everyone got knocked to the ground and felt the shock through the tops of their head, though a couple of people who were bending over at the time felt it through their posteriors. The distance impacted was pretty big - the guys playing softball one field over also got knocked down and were grabbing their heads.

After we retreated (a little shook up) to the cars to wait out the ensuing thunderstorm, I took a stroll to inspect "ground zero" of the strike (within 20 minutes of the event the sky was blue and the sun was out). This pole was SHREDDED - shards of splintered wood were sticking out of the ground like spears."

So there it is. I will never ever underestimate lightning and its power. I promise to adhere to any and all lightning related safety policies.

And I'm really hoping everyone gets super powers, myself included.


KLK said...

Holy crap that's crazy! Two years ago at Nationals in Florida we had to halt the match with 15 minutes to go because thunderstorms were rolling into the area but they cleared up fairly quickly...we all thought they were crazy because it wasn't even raining but your story makes me glad that the officials were that cautious!

Steve said...

Wow! Glad you're OK.