LIGHTNING BOLT HITS CLOSE TO HOME

The folks at the TV station had cautioned us about the possibility of thunderstorms in our area for the morning of June 7. Okay so we had been warned so while we kept our eyes on the skies, life around our house was continuing as normal. As rain began falling, I made sure our garage door was closed and I settled down with my morning coffee inside rather than taking my usual treasured spot on the back porch. Kay was folding laundry as we watched the rain and the sky darken and periodic flashes of lightning and accompanying thunder drew closer.

Without warning, it was like a bomb detonated inside our house. The explosion was ear splitting and with all the tall pines around our house, we knew that a bolt had to have struck one of them. Recovering from the blast, I cautiously stepped into the garage to begin assessing the damage. Strangely, the garage door I had closed only moments ago had opened by itself. Hitting the switch to close it, nothing happened; the bolt had knocked out the remote control.
Next, I checked our alarm system; it was also dead. The biggie though was when we activated the central air system and it was inoperative.

The sum total of damages resulted in replacement and repair costs approaching $2000. Fortunately, home owners insurance paid a portion but we had to pay the difference. I began a search later that day for the tree that lightning had struck to cause such damages to our home. It was not until several weeks later that I noticed the tell-tale results of a dying tree, the little white globs of resin that begin showing up once a tree begins it demise. Bugs had started working on the tree that lightning had struck, a tall pine that stood within ten steps of our garage.

Lightning is something that can be deadly according to a source I found. A typical lightning flash is about 300 million volts and about 30,000 amps. In comparison, household current is 120 volts and 15 amps. Wow, no wonder we experienced damage when it hit a tree so close to our house.LIGHTENING STRIKE 2

When lightning strikes a tree, water in the cells instantly begins to boil, creating steam and the expanding steam can explode, cracking or stripping off bark. Another source said that lightning is one of the leading weather-related causes of death and injury in the U.S. Did you know you can be struck by lightning when the center of the
thunderstorm is 10 miles away?

Several years ago, I witnessed the aftermath of a lightning strike on a big oak at Lincoln Parish Park. The tree was virtually blown apart with strips of bark catapulted several yards from the trunk. On another occasion, hay was being baled in the pasture across the road from our home with round bales on the ground waiting for pick-up. A bolt of lightning struck one of the bales and I watched in amazement during a heavy rainstorm as the bale had caught fire and was burning.

This is the time of year when folks are out on the lake fishing, boating or skiing and it’s also the time when thunderstorms can crop up quickly. If skies darken and the rumble of thunder is heard, it’s time to leave the water and seek shelter until the storm passes. Lightning can be deadly and can do strange things, like causing a garage door to open by itself.

FISHING REPORT

CANEY LAKE – Bass fishing has been fair with best catches made fishing the deeper drops with drop-shot rigs, tail spinners or spoons. Crappie fishing has been best fishing jigs or shiners around the deeper tops. Bream fishing is fair to good on worms and crickets around bedding areas. Catfishing is fair fishing a variety of baits around the piers and boat docks. For information contact Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
OUACHITA RIVER – Bass have been fair at the mouth of the run-outs where there is a bit of current with crank baits and spinners taking a few. Crappie are around the tops in the river where small eddies form. Jigs and shiners are best bets. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Bass fishing has been best trolling Rat-L-Traps for schooling fish and fishing the deeper holes with jigs, plastics and drop-shot rigs. Look for the crappie in the deeper holes up to 25-30 feet deep fishing 18-20 feet deep with jigs including the Lights Out and Monkey Milk patterns. Bream fishing is still fair to good around the beds on worms and crickets while channel cats are biting cold worms off the banks. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Some nice Opelousas catfish are being caught on trotlines or set hooks baited with small bream. The bream have moved to deeper water and are fair on crickets and worms. Bass have been fair on jigs or plastic worms with either grape or pink tails. Stripers are schooling and hitting blue and silver Rat-L-Traps. Crappie have been best fishing jigs or shiners 12 feet deep. For latest information, call Misty at Kel’s Cove at 331-2730 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
BUSSEY BRAKE – Bream fishing continues to be fair to good on worms and crickets. Bass have been fair around brush on Rogues and soft plastics. Crappie are scattered. No report on catfish. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU – Bass fishing has been good around the grass on jigs and soft plastics. Crappie are scattered; bream are fair. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Catfishing has been fair with mostly smaller fish being caught. Bass are fair while crappie and bream are slow. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN –No report. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is falling with a slight rise in a few days. Crappie fishing has improved with some nice ones caught. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.


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