What started out as a humdrum Wednesday night turned out to be an electrifying — and terrifying — experience for a Brookswood couple.
A lightning storm targeted Jurgen and Dale Peter’s property at 199A Street and 33A Avenue, ripping bark off a 100-foot fir tree, destroying an electrical unit, cracking the windshield of their car, and splintering wood inside of their carport next to their home.
“I went into a duck-and-cover mode, thinking the house had been hit, and instantly everything was black, as well,” Dale said, estimating she heard the first boom at around 10:30 p.m.
“I was very scared,” she said.
Instinctively, Dale grabbed her cellphone and a flashlight and left her house.
“Then all of our wonderful neighbours came running,” she said.
Dale said the boom was louder than any thunder storm she has ever heard.
“I grew up back east in Quebec where they have a lot of lightning storms, but when it hits right there, it’s incredible,” she said.
The lightning also smashed a small brick wall on the property.
Township assistant fire chief Russ Jenkins confirmed that lightning did, in fact, strike the Peters’ property, and about three other properties in the same area.
“We arrived with our apparatus after getting a call from the home owners.
“We saw a large tree had been hit by lightning and the current continued through the ground to the carport and with feedback into the house,” said Jenkins.
The fire department were called to four homes where the lightning storm had caused damage.
“We went to a home in the 3900 block of 208 Street where lightning had blown out the transformer in front of their house,” he said.
The fire department estimates that four to five lightning bolts touched down in this area of Langley.
“The storm did seem to centre around Langley. It was a wild night,” he said.
—files from Monique Tamminga
BELOW: This map shows Wednesday night's massive thunder and lightning storm that saw 45 strikes hit the ground, including one 'cloud to ground' strike in Langley.