Lightning Storm Shocks Sacramento Area
(CBS) Monday night’s lightning storm may go down as one of the worst
in Northern California history.
It lit up the sky for hours in the
Sacramento area, and knocked out our CBS sister station KOVR, with a direct hit
on the TV station’s main transmission tower.
At the height of the storm,
there were more than 500 lightning strikes recorded in a one hour
KOVR was knocked off the air 30 minutes before the 5 o'clock
news. Surrounded by electronic equipment, transmission operator Ginger Myrick,
received the shock of her life. "All of the sudden it was this flash of light
and a loud bang,” said Myrick. “Smoke went everyone and then I felt that jolt to
The spectacular light show could be seen from the Bay Area to
the Sierra, Fresno to the south and Redding to the north.
weather service estimates, as many as 3,000 lightning bolts hit the ground
between 4 PM and midnight. Long-time weather forecasters say there's nothing in
the history books that compare.
“That type of lightening activity is
typically reserved for the midwest, the sourthern plains, observed John Juskie
of the National Weather Service. “This was way out there on the scope of weather
events for Northern California.”
The storm knocked out power to thousand
of people, but no injuries or deaths have been reported:
At least two
direct hits, however, set homes on fire. In nearby Gold River, lighting hitting
a satellite dish sparked a fire that left behind $200,000 worth of
In Woodland, homeowners saw a tremendous light show, but the
damage was minor. “We just saw the lightning coming closer and closer,”
exclaimed homeowner Sandra Dawson. “We just kept counting to see how far away it
was, turns out it was pretty close."
At KOVR, the lightning storm fried
most of the technical equipment leaving news anchors and reporters with no sound
bites, videotape, graphics or commercials. So anchors just talked about the
storm that everyone was talking about.
"We got information out,” said
KOVR Assistant News Director Lori Waldon. “We were able to tell people the
lightning that hit, the weather conditions, where it was headed, what people
could expect as they were driving home."