Lightning strikes damage businesses, homes in Bluffton - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Lightning strikes cause damage in Bluffton


Two businesses and homes in the Lowcountry were struck by lightning Wednesday night when strong storms rolled through the area. 

Thousands of lightning strikes occurred in the Lowcountry. According to WTOC's First Alert Doppler Max 11 Radar, 475 strikes hit Bluffton within 15 minutes. 

"I would have been right here," said Aaron Dowell, the owner of Bluffton Marine Sports and Supply shop. His business was hit by lightning. "I probably would have been doing some paperwork or working on the computer. That wouldn't have been good, cause that's like 10 feet away from where it hit." 

Dowell said the lightning struck the tree in front of his store and then hit his store. He had left the store to go pick his wife up at the time it occurred. 

"I'm extremely grateful that I wasn't sitting here," he said. "The damage was to the antennas in here so it kind of seems to me like there must have been some electricity running around in here." 

The lightning caused minor damage to part of the roof, and ruined his alarm system, which he's getting replaced. 

Dowell said he doesn't think the lightning will strike his store again. 

"Well, I'm hoping that my luck's a little better and I've gotten this one out of the way," he said. "I figure this is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event." 

But one never knows. That's why Meteorologist Dave Turley recommends homeowners and business owners get a lightning rod. 

"What that it is [is] a metal rod on top of the house which is where lightning is supposed to strike," said Turley. 

He said the rod will carry the electricity to the ground instead of through the building.

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