Lightning Strike

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Keith Wilson looks over a strip of bark that was blown off of a huge tree in his front yard by lightning last week. The strike entered the tree and a ripped off a three inch strip of bark, approximately 30 feet down the side of the tree. Portions of the bark were in nearby trees and on the ground. There was a hole approximately one foot in diameter at the base of the tree where the lightning entered the ground. Several visible scorch paths could be seen where the lightning went out into the yard. The tree, the largest in his front yard, is about forty yards from the house, located on Old Williamston Road. According to experts, when a tree is struck by lightning, the liquids in the trunk turn to gas instantly, leading to an explosion of bark. Often half the tree will die instantly and the remaining half may live for years. Wilson said the streak damaged his security alarm and HVAC system but did not do major damage in the house.