As Ely experienced one of the biggest storms of the season last Wednesday evening, Tim and Ashley Rogers were looking to get a closer look of the storms passing over Ely. It wouldn’t be long before the Rogers had an all-too-close experience with the storm.
“My husband is fascinated with lightning,” Ashley Rogers said. “He wanted to take a picture of the lightning. Stupidly, we went on our (front) porch. He was on the porch with our camera to take a picture and was frustrated because he couldn’t get the camera to capture it. He told me to come and give it a try.”
Tim and Ashley stood in a puddle near the front door as the couple tried to capture the storm. Little did they know in the couple’s backyard, lightning was about to strike and that strike was about to give the Rogers a shock.
The Rogers aren’t sure whether it hit the satellite or the power line. But regardless of where the lightning hit, the Rogers felt the effects.
“What happened was the current ran through and it shut down half of the house,” Rogers said. “The outlet under the computer was sparking and it welded the surge protector in the outlet. The phone was not in the surge protector and it burned up. It killed the satellite Internet and satellite TV…the garage door motor is completely burned and we had to pull the emergency release, so it’s manual operation right now.”
The lighting strike also blew out the switch in the Rogers’ laundry room and flowed through the pantry and flipped a breaker off. Then, the current arrived at the Rogers’ front door.
“It blew my slipper in the front yard,” Rogers said. “My husband dropped to the ground, it only got his legs. When I dropped to the ground, I fell against the house, so my back was getting jolted. So my whole body, my arms, back, legs, and feet all shook for hours.”
It just so happened as soon as the Rogers hit the ground, Rachel Gubler, a friend of the family, was pulling up to their home to pick up something Ashley Rogers picked up for her at Costco earlier that day.
“Had she been there two seconds earlier, she would have been zapped,” Rogers said. “Her car was pulling up as my husband and I were coming to and my kids were at the table crying because they thought we got hit by lighting. We couldn’t hear, it was so loud, it was deafening. This all happened in a matter of seconds. We made it back into the house and Rachel came running in and we said get inside and don’t go out there.”
The Rogers weren’t the only family to experience a lighting strike that evening. Rogers said their neighbors also got hit and lost a wireless router, microwave and more. The culprit? An old electric set up, Rogers said.
“They think there’s no interior grounds in the outlets because of its age,” Rogers said. “We’re working on grounding the interior. We’re pretty sure it came through the satellites because the actual screw was not tightened so the ground wasn’t acting for their equipment. None of us would have known this, had we not been hit so it’s a good thing cause we’re fixing this now,” Rogers said.
The Rogers consider themselves lucky. No one needed medical attention. No fires broke out because of hot wires and they are able to continue living in their home. But while they may have emerged from last week’s storm relatively unscathed, one thing will change the next time a storm rolls through Ely.
“I think (Tim will) probably watch from inside,” Rogers said. “He’s not a storm chaser. We weren’t thinking we were going to get hit. It was stupid on our part but we learned our lesson. It was too close to home.”