Lightning strike leads to gas leak, property damage

Thunderstorms created a light show in Michiana Tuesday night. But, lightning left serious damage at some homes.

One South Bend family was busy cleaning up Tuesday afternoon after tree limbs tore through their roof and into a bedroom. Lightning hit a very large tree in the front yard and the limbs snapped.

“I heard the boom and jumped out of bed,” said Dianne Hardy, who lives at the house. “I start walking and feel stuff under my feet. Can’t figure out what it is.”

Her daughter ran into her bedroom to let her know about the fallen tree.
“She said ‘There’s a tree limb in my bedroom,’” Hardy said. “Everybody trying to get out of the house because we were smelling smoke.”

The entire family was able to make it out safely.

In North Liberty, Don and Michelle Gee got quite the scare.

They lit candles before bed Tuesday night to prepare in case the storm knocked power out in their neighborhood. As they settled in for the evening, Michelle smelled gas in their house.

“I walked outside and looked at the gas meter,” Don said. “The gas gauge was spinning with nothing running. I went down to the basement and heard hissing.”

Turns out, a gas line had ruptured due to a lightning strike and gas was leaking.

“We called NIPSCO and they said to evacuate,” Michelle said. “We didn’t get back until 1:30 this morning.”

Still, this family is grateful they noticed the smell quickly.

“It could’ve been much worse,” Don said.

NIPSCO suggests customers exit a house immediately is they notice the natural gas smell.

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