‘I was very lucky’: VB man recalls nearby lightning strike that toppled tree, severed water pipe


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Piles of wood sit in Lee Hancock’s front yard near where a giant tree used to stand.

Over the weekend Hancock says he was on the ground in his driveway working on his truck’s tire when lighting struck right behind him.

He says it happened so quick, he never saw it, but definitely heard it

“It was a huge boom, it shot debris on the roof, debris into the neighbor’s swimming pool, a few dents in the side of the truck,” said Hancock 

He says he jumped up and ran into his garage, not knowing if he was OK. 

Hancock says when he got to safety he saw half of the tree falling down.

He also saw his water line had been struck by lightning as well.

“It went down into the ground and hit the water pipe, which was 36 inches in the ground, busted that pipe,” he said.

Neighbors hurried over to check on him, and despite a very close call with Mother Nature, Hancock was just fine.

“I was 15 feet from the tree, 10 feet from the water line, I was very lucky,” he said.

The neighborhood however, wasn’t as lucky.

“The underground line of Cox cable was burned up,” Hancock said. 

And a lot of appliances were destroyed in his neighbors’ homes, and his home too.

“Burnt up. The three TVs, the stove, dishwasher, washer, two ceiling fans blew out, one circuit had to be replaced,” he said.

Pieces of wood that shattered from the tree hit so hard, they dented his car.

He says it’s a reminder of just how fortunate he was.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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