Breaking down fact and fiction when it comes to lightning

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Data pix.
Data pix.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala (WHNT)- When I was a child, I was told never to take a shower during a thunderstorm. But once I got older, I wondered if that was even true. I set out to find answers and found out a lot more than I intended.

Phillip Bitzer works as an Assistant Professor at UAH and does a lot of lightning research. Bitter said, "A question I get asked often is, 'Are you safe in the shower during a lightning storm,' and the answer is 'no, not actually,' because you can actually have lightning strike on the house or near the house and that current can flow through the pipes and through the water. So it is actually fairly dangerous to take a shower while lightning is occurring outside."

A recent thunderstorm produced a lightning bolt that struck a tree here in the Tennessee Valley. The lightning currency traveled through the roots of the tree striking a houses sprinkle system. The lightning bolt caused the tree to explode.

The tree sits in between Jessica Krick's and her neighbor's yard. Jessica could not believe what happened, "The lightning went into the roots of the tree and hit the sprinkler system and traveled into their house and put a big hole in the wall. A bunch of smoke it filled up their garage with smoke."

When I ask Jessica what it sounded like when it happened, she said, "probably a bomb and it was so loud that you actually felt it. I even talked to some other people in the neighborhood that said their dishes rattled in their kitchens."

Jessica's neighbor is without power for a little while. She said that insurance is covering most of the damage. The lightning cause the sprinkler system in the garage to explode. It also made a crack in the garage ceiling. Jessica's neighbor lost two TV's and a few land line telephones, but their computer did make it through the lightning strike.

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