Charleston County EMS Director Don Lundy got a firsthand look Tuesday at what it's like for a house to be struck by lightning.
As thunderstorms swept through much of the Lowcountry late Tuesday afternoon, Lundy and his wife were sitting in their house in Shadowmoss waiting for the power to be restored.
Suddenly there was a tremendous boom and the whole house shook.
"It was louder than any weapon I ever heard in military service," he said.
He thought a tree had fallen and ran outside. Flames were shooting from the back of the house. A lightning bolt had burned a hole in the siding near the attic.
Crews from Charleston and St. Andrews fire departments quickly arrived to keep the flames from spreading. They also put plastic over the hole in the house.
"They did a great job," Lundy said.
"My wife and dog and I are all OK, and that's what counts."
Lundy also said he's glad the lightning hit after the power went out, or the bolt would probably have fried every electronic device in the house.
The family was staying in a motel Tuesday night and would take a closer look at the damage Wednesday.
The storms knocked out power in scattered areas around the Lowcountry Tuesday. Trees were reported down in Summerville, including one on Twin Lakes Drive.
SCE&G was reporting 2,621 outages in Dorchester County, 898 in Charleston County and 61 in Berkeley County at 8:40 p.m.
The biggest outages at that time were in the Summerville area, including 1,366 customers without power off Scott Range Road and 532 without power off Simmons Avenue.
SCE&G's outage map is here.
Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.