So – speculation abounds on why the lightning chose our rabbitry. One school of thought is that we recently added the electrical fence in that area of the property and as such the fence drew the lightning to the area, but found the higher all-metal building first.
Another is that lightning strikes occur all over and it simply hit our property this time (heck, I hear thunder as I am typing this – just that time of year for storms). Whatever the reason may be, it left its mark.
Having not witnessed the actual strike, the damage seems to give a reasonable idea as to what happened. The lightning first struck the roof of the metal carport. Underneath that roof we had (…had…) a box fan suspended to help circulate the humid air.
It would just so happen that some reused wire was used to hold the fan in place. You can see the burn marks where it traveled between the rafters and the wire in these pictures.
The strike continued it’s way THROUGH the fan, while apparently obliterating the speed selector knob. It is gone. Some markings on the roof and the top of the fan look very much like what you might think of if you were to imagine a plastic knob exploding all over the place.
Having entered the fan, the surge travels down the power cord, safely through a pig-tail type extension, until it finds the connection of the pig-tail to the 100 foot long extension cord that runs to the house. Here it finds an exit point to the ground – but not before having to travel through some hay.
They hay, being quite excited from this unique experience, ignites. Thankfully it sends off a great deal of smoke, alerting us to the issue. However, the story did not end there.
Our bolt of lightning did not fully derail at the junction of cords – oh no – after all, there were 100 feet of unexplored copper to visit. This journey takes us to our outlet right next to the front door, where the male end of the cord and the outlet itself now display the charred “I was here” markings of our visitor.
Graciously, this tripped the circuit breaker and nothing was damaged or lost inside of the house.
You know better…
You know not to use an extension cord for extended periods of time – even large high-amp ones rated for exterior use. And, should you be required to use an extension cord outside, you know not to leave it plugged in with an appliance running during a thunderstorm.
I know these things too, but I did not listen to what I knew.
Thankfully, everyone and every creature is just fine. Yup, that is right. Suspended in the air the rabbits did just fine, though I do believe their eyes were opened a bit wider than normal.
So – you know that nature makes the rules that we have to live by. Obey them. Our situation could have been a lot worse. Who knows what could have happened to the house, the rabbitry, or the entire property.
Instead we are left with just a smoldering pile of peat moss and a little singeing.
Respect nature, and electricity. Keep your work areas clean of debris. Don’t EVER expect water to stop a fire inside peat moss – and – Count your blessings.