National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Hit in open garage while holding a power tool


In 1977, while living in Brandon, Mississippi, I was in my the garage of my home working on a riding lawn mower chassis. I was using my electric drill at the time. My wife saw what I was doing and advised me that the lightning storm outside was getting pretty bad and that I should wait until it was over to continue. I chose to ignore her and told her that I was in no danger.

Seconds later, lightning struck the power transformer on the power line pole outside my home. The surge followed the wires and ultimately the power drill I was holding. The jolt stiffened my muscles in such a manner that I was thrown from one end of the garage to the other. The only damage was to my ego in knowing that my wife was absolutely right!