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Lightning Hits Tree in Philomath

PHILOMATH, Ore. — A Philomath family had a frightening front row seat for a lightning strike that hit a tree in their yard.

The Kersts say they were on the front porch watching the storm and counting the time between lightning flashes and thunder. At one point there was no delay.

Then they heard a loud crack coming from this tree, just feet from the house.

“It was a very loud crack as opposed to a bang,” said homeowner Bob Kerst. “If you’ve ever been in the trenches and had bullets flying over your head, it made that type of sound. As opposed to a bang, like you hear out a cannon or something like that.”

Ten minutes later they heard the same noise, and bark went flying all over the yard. Kerst and his wife, Laurice, say they think the lightning hit the tree twice in two different spots.

“I was afraid that with the wind blowing, that it might fall over,” said Laurice Kerst. “So I moved my granddaughter over into my bedroom across the house from this bedroom over here, because I didn’t want the tree to fall on the house.”

The family is naming the tree The Guardian for protecting them from the lightning.

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