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Thursday 19 October 2017

Miracle escape for family as lightning bolt strikes home

Karen Condon points to where the bolt hit above her mother's bedroom at The Condon home in Mayfield, Cork which was struck by lightning
Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Karen Condon points to where the bolt hit above her mother's bedroom at The Condon home in Mayfield, Cork which was struck by lightning Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
The Condon home in Mayfield, Cork, which was struck by lightning Pic: Michael MacSweeney/Provision

One lucky family has spoken of their narrow escape after their home was struck by lightning during a violent thunderstorm.

Karen Condon said she saw a flash and heard "a loud bang" and then realised that lightning had struck the roof of their Cork home.

"My mother was in the house and we don't know if the bolt struck the chimney pot or the TV aerial," she said.

"But it blew a hole in the roof straight through the tiles and the heavy rainfall then started to pour in to the upstairs bedroom."

The semi-detached house at Avonmore Park in Mayfield suffered water damage to its upstairs rooms because of the shattered roof - while two other adjacent houses were also damaged by the lightning bolt.

Luckily, no-one was injured despite what Cork City Council admitted was one of the biggest lightning storms in recent years.

Karen said that her mother is still quite shaken by their near miss.

"I suppose we are all a bit wary of lightning but when you see at first hand the damage that it can cause it is quite frightening," she said.

"It was an unbelievable storm and you only realise the full power of a lightning bolt when you look up and see the way it tore into the roof."

Assessors are now checking all three homes to determine the scale of the damage caused by the lightning bolt.

FLOODING

In one home, it is feared that the bolt may have damaged a concrete beam.

It is also suspected that electrical systems were damaged by the high voltage carried by the bolt. Desperate efforts are now underway to patch the hole in the roof of the Condon's home amid a forecast of further heavy rainfall.

"We were very lucky that no-one was in that upstairs room when the lightning struck. It's unbelievable the damage that it caused," Karen added.

She said that neighbours have been absolutely fantastic in offering whatever help they can.

"We are also lucky in that I live quite close by. But we still can't believe what happened. I don't think I will ever go outside in thunder or lightning."

Meanwhile, motorists and householders were warned to expect heavy rainfall and possible tidal flooding as Met Eireann issued a yellow alert for southern counties.

Met Eireann said up to 50mm of rain was expected in a 24 hour period with the worst hitting Cork and Kerry.

hnews@herald.ie

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