Lightning strike damages Albany homes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lightning strike damages Albany homes

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August 24, 2006

Albany-- It can pack between ten thousand and two-hundred thousand amps of current and generate temperatures as high as forty thousand degrees fahrenheit. You don't have to tell that to several people who live on Juniper drive in Albany. 

During a late night thunderstorm, lightning struck and destroyed this pine tree and cut power to Ben Sutton's home. "It was a big boom  something I like I have never heard before. Then all the power was out"said home owner Ben Sutton. 

That same lightning strike  also damaged Jackie Alford's air conditioning unit and television leaving her a little hot under the collar today. "I came back here and thought god it's hot in here, I went to check my unit, and it was out. My unit is out, I have a couple televisions that are out. That's pretty much it as far as with me" said home owner Jackie Alford.   

While many folks have a standard surge protector for computers and some appliances, this may not be enough to protect all of your home's devices. Electrical systems and services owner Reggie mobley says a lightning surge protector outside your home may be your best line of defense.

"A lot of times people don't realize they have been hit, because it takes a toll, it's like an additive affect. You can actually get thrity percent more use out of your electronics and appliances by installing surge protection. Because of that additive affect of time and time again it finally just fails you"said Electrical contractor  Reggie Mobley.

A lightning strike even more than a mile from your home can do damage to your sensitive equipment. Most lightning surge protectors cost about four-hundred dollars and do a good job of protecting your electrical system, phone system and cable television.

Mobley also says many insurance companies give discounts for homes that have lightning surge protection. Peace of mind that may in the end be worth it when lightning hits home. c.n walb news ten Albany.   

Lightning rods are another way to protect your home, but they are substantially more expensive. Don't try to install a lightning protection system yourself. To be safe, you should hire a licensed electrician.      

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