Island home severely damaged by lightning bolt

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An island home was severely damaged by lightning just before Christmas with several local residents lucky not to have been injured.

The impact left a great big hole in the roof of the house and also extensively damaged the chimney. All electrics in the house have been damaged with the whole house now having to be rewired.

Only one member of the family was inside at the time of the strike but was not injured despite being hit on the head by a shard from the BT box which flew off the wall.

Another lucky resident was walking across the bridge at the time of the strike but was thankfully not touching the metal hand rail at the time.

Stornoway Gazette weather correspondent Eddie Graham, Lews Castle College, said: ““Lightning strikes from winter thunderstorms (such as those which prevailed across the Hebrides during December 2013) are the most powerful of all strikes – typically having a voltage 10 times greater than those which affect the continent and inland parts of the UK during the summer. This is because such winter storm clouds have a much higher percentage of ice crystals, snow and hail than their summer counterparts, leading to a greater build-up of electric charge.”

For more details see Eddie’s blog

If you missed our video of the violent Christmas Eve storm, here it is again.