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Fox 4 Certified Meteorologist explains uptick in lightning strikes hitting homes in SWFL

Lightning Strike fire Medoc Lane
Posted at 4:09 PM, Aug 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-10 05:00:10-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Several families in Southwest Florida were dealing with devastating damage after four homes were hit by lightning during the recent weeks.

Two of the homes that were struck by lightning are located in Fort Myers, a little over 8 miles apart.

Fox 4 told you about the home struck by lightning on August 3 and the house fire, that was caused by a lightning strike, just five days later off Medoc Lane.

On Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the strike, John Lampman who lives next to the home that caught on fire off Medoc Lane describes hearing a loud bang.

“I came out and I went holy smokes,” said Lampman.

On Tuesday, according to Lampman, it wasn’t what he said at that moment that stuck with him.

“This cloud of white, it just descended upon us it was amazing, this cloud just covered this whole area, I mean I have never seen anything like it,” said Lampman.

A day later and pieces of scorched home were scattered across the yard, along with peeled-back shingles, where Iona McGregor fire officials said the bolt hit the roof.

“All lightning strikes are pretty gnarly when it comes to the damage,” said Iona Mcgregor Lieutenant Michael Quilty.

Iona Fire officials said nobody was inside the home when the fire started, but Quilty said that doesn't change how fire crews respond.

“We Make sure we get into the structure, clear the structure, get the occupants out, find out where the fire started whether it's in the home or up in the attic space, and start our extinguishment tactics," said Quilty.

Its daily storms in Southwest Florida, Fox 4 Certified Meteorologist Trent Aric said could be the reason for more of these lightning strikes.

“We have been stuck in this weather pattern where the thunderstorms have been moving on our coast every afternoon for a month or so, usually we get some variation, but we have been in a very stormy pattern, so it seems like every day,” said Aric.

Creating an uptick, Aric said, in the chance of a home getting struck by lightning.

Which helped Paint a better picture of why four homes had been struck by lightning in recent weeks.

Aric said overall it boils down to bad luck.

“Honestly it kind of come down to luck, or not so much luck really with these trees and houses that we have seen that have been hit, anytime we get these thunderstorms in the afternoon that charge has to go somewhere,” said Aric.

Back in the neighborhood, homeowners like John Lampman say they are looking to the future and worrying.

“It's gonna be one of these years,” said Lampman.