Bolt out of nowhere hits two Liverpool houses

Barb McKenna
Published on December 18, 2016

One lightning bolt hit two homes in Liverpool Sunday

LIVERPOOL, N.S. - At about 11 a.m. Sunday, houses throughout Liverpool and beyond shook when a huge clap of thunder hit the town.

Just prior to that, a bolt of lightning came down, and hit two homes simultaneously – one on School Street and one on Church Street.

According to RCMP, a man on Church Street was transported to Queens General Hospital with minor injuries from the strike.

Steve Parnell, chief of the Liverpool Fire Department, said firefighters responded to both calls, and inspected the homes with an infrared laser to ensure there was no fire. Both homes were declared clear shortly after.

Parnell said it was extremely unusual because there was no lightning storm occurring at the time, although it was raining heavily.

Bob Robichaud is a meteorologist with Environment Canada in Halifax.

He says it is unusual to have only one lightning bolt and one clap of thunder, but it does happen.

 “It’s on our map here,” he says. “Right probably right over the southeastern part of town, a strike at 10:57 Sunday morning.”

Robichaud says there were strikes further up the coast, but that was the only lightning over the area at the time.

“You can have thunderstorms that will only produce one discharge, and throughout that whole air mass yesterday, it was really unstable, we were getting some pockets of heavy showers, and within those pockets of heavy showers, you can get a localized thunder storm.”

He says there is a lot of static electricity that builds up in towering clouds, and when it builds up enough, that charge has to be discharged.

“The fact that we had a very warm moist air mass coming up from the south, the air that was over Nova Scotia originated in the tropics, it’s a good environment for thunderstorms to develop.”