Are you ready for your close call of the day? Sarah Ribardi certainly was not, although who can blame her?
What was a quiet, dreary day for her exploded without warning into a hail of debris.
Lightning strikes are certainly rare, most people only ever see them from a distance and they’re lucky for it!YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot
It was Morgan City, Louisiana, where the lightning struck. Ribardi was walking outside when
lightning suddenly struck a nearby tree merely a few doors away.
It was accompanied by a loud bang and thousands of shards of bark and wood flying through the air!Image by Pixabay on Pexels Source: Image by Pixabay on Pexels
You can actually see the tree collapse in the video, captured on what seems to be a doorbell camera.
The lightning is so quick that the camera actually fails to capture it properly!
Below is an image of the moment the lightning strikes the tree. You can see the upper portion of the image is more well lit than the bottom,
which is a result of the camera attempting to process the sudden change in lighting!YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot
In the same image you can see Ribardi’s eyes closing and the shock coming over her face!
I can’t imagine how scary that must have been in that moment.
She had some very good instincts of ducking and running back inside as fast as she could!YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot
You can see in the image above the cloud of debris flying towards Ribardi’s home, over the vehicle in the driveway.
That is the destructive power of lightning striking a tree.
Lightning strikes can raise the temperature of the air by as much as 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit and contain a hundred million electrical volts. That’s hotter than the surface of the sun!YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot
Ribardi mentions that it felt like she had gotten pushed by the lightning, which was right on the money! When lightning strikes and the air expands to create thunder, it creates a shockwave.
YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot
“This pressure blast wave is caused by the superheating of the air around the lightning channel, which travels at supersonic speeds. It is this supersonic blast wave which decays, within meters, and transforms into thunder.” -Ryan Blumenthal from the University of Pretoria
“The overpressure generated by thunder at the source may approach 1470 pounds of force per square inch”
It’s extremely rare to have such a close interaction with lightning! According to National Geographic:
“The odds of becoming a lightning victim in the U.S. in any one year is 1 in 700,000. The odds of being struck in your lifetime is 1 in 3,000.”
Needless to say, Ribardi was pretty unlucky to have lightning strike so close!YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot
Where she got off with a stroke of luck was that the lightning didn’t strike her and that all of the debris that you can see fly right by her head didn’t hit her at all!
Considering some of the wood chunks that were flying by were quite large and extremely fast,
I’d say she’s lucky she got away without so much as a scratch!
Although still, I’m not envious of the shock that she must have endured from having such a sudden, violent event happen in her vicinity.Image by Pixabay on Pexels Source: Image by Pixabay on Pexels
“Right after it happened, I was shaking a little bit,” Ribardi said.
I can’t blame her! I would be shaking too!
You can see the video for yourself below, and I highly recommend you give it a watch.
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