Man, home struck by lightning during Thursday morning storms in Columbia County

Damage left by lightning strike in home on Brody Drive in the Town of Pacific
By  | 

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) - There were two separate lightning strikes during Thursday morning storms in Columbia County. One hit a home, the other hit a person.

A man in Pardeeville and a home near Portage were both hit by lightning.

NBC15 spoke with the man who was struck by lightning. He did not want to go on camera, but he said he is OK. He said he was not directly hit by the bolt, but it hit just a couple feet away. He also said it blew him back about 6-8 feet, and felt like an intense shock.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office confirmed a call came in around 4:45 a.m. for a man struck by lightning at the Indian Trails Campground in Pardeeville. The man was conscious and talking at the time, but was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Deputies also tell us a home in the Town of Pacific, near Portage, was hit by lightning. That call came in just after 5 a.m., no flames were visible but crews said there was smoke at the house on Brody Drive.

Homeowner Tim Francis says a loud boom woke him up just before 5 a.m.

"We have a lot of sonic booms that come by because of the air guard that flies over our house and you hear that sometimes. This was louder than that has ever been. I mean it was almost like I was at a football game and it was one big yell at one point ,it was so loud," said Francis.

Francis noticed the power was out and got out of bed to investigate. He saw several light switches blown along with a large piece of drywall by the front door.

"Basically all the damage that you are seeing is that all the wires are burned all the way down from the light switch all the way up into the ceiling. It blew some of the drywall out from away from there," said Francis. "It was crazy. I’ve never had this happen to me before so I said 'what the beck happened' this is a big deal,"

Francis and his wife and three kids made it out of the house unhurt. He thinks it will be a couple of days before power is fully restored to his home. He says the home will have to undergo a lot of rewiring.

The good news: his air conditioner still works. So on Friday, possibly the hottest day of the year, the Francis family can beat the heat.