A chilling video is going viral this week showing the moment a Texas man was almost struck by lightning while recording a thunderstorm.
Fox News reported that the incident occurred on Wednesday, when Justin Howard was recording a storm that happened in Atascocita, a town located about 25 miles northwest of Houston. He had been sitting outside watching the storm roll in, trying to capture it on camera, when lighting struck a 50-foot tree in his front yard, causing it to fall down right in front of him.
“The crazy thing, I got it caught on camera!” Howard said afterwards.
Video shows the tree split in half after it’s ignited in flames. Though Howard wasn’t seriously hurt, he did tell KTRK-TV that he was a bit sore.
“I was a pro fighter for years,” he said. “I feel like I had a really hard sparring match, like my bones are achy. I just feel like, I feel punched. It was the craziest, weirdest feeling I’ve ever felt.”
"It was the weirdest, craziest feeling I've ever felt."
A Texas man was watching a storm roll in when a bolt of lightning struck a 50-foot pine tree in his front yard – just feet from where he was sitting. https://t.co/VWNhxJROEJ pic.twitter.com/SjnngvX7Q3
— ABC News (@ABC) August 6, 2020
Howard concluded by saying that he feels very lucky that he was able to walk away from this without being seriously hurt.
“I think God was saying something… go back inside the house,” he added.
The National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) has warned that lightning often strikes tall objects such as skyscrapers and trees because they have tops that are closer to the base of the storm cloud.
“However, this does not always mean tall objects will be struck. It all depends on where the charges accumulate,” the agency clarified. “Lightning can strike the ground in an open field even if the tree line is close by.”
John Jensenius, a lightning safety specialist, said that one of the biggest misconceptions people have about lightning is that it is attracted to metal. He added that people also often misjudge how far they arefrom approaching storms, thinking that the lightning rise may be much further away than it actually is.
“The key is, if there’s any threat at all, rumble of thunder or what looks like a threatening sky, you need to be able to get into a safe place very quickly,” he said.