July 24, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
61°F

PHOTO: Lightning strips bark from tree, splits it down the middle

A tree next to the driveway at 4475 Center Road in Brunswick was struck by lightining on Sunday morning as a small thunderstorm moved through the area. Homeowner Sheila Baker said the strike made a loud sound, stripped the bark from the tree and split it down the middle. Baker said she felt lucky it didn't fall on her home or garage and hopes to have it removed soon.(LOREN GENSON / GAZETTE)

A tree next to the driveway at 4475 Center Road in Brunswick was struck by lightning on Sunday morning as a small thunderstorm moved through the area. Homeowner Sheila Baker said the strike made a loud sound, stripped the bark from the tree and split it down the middle. (LOREN GENSON / GAZETTE)

A Brunswick couple is thankful that a tree struck by lightning next to their home didn’t fall on their garage or house.

A lightning bolt struck the tree next to the driveway at 4475 Center Road at about 10 a.m. Sunday morning as a thunderstorm moved through the area.

“My fiance said he saw a bright flash and heard a loud bang,” said Sheila Baker, who had recently gone to bed after working an overnight shift. “He said the first thing he thought was he hoped it didn’t wake me up.”

Baker did wake up and she and fiance Rob Saxer discovered the lightning had struck the tree next to their home, splitting it down the middle and causing bark to fall off the tree on all sides.

“It’s a pretty tall tree — about 45 feet,” Baker said.

The impact flung some pieces of branch and bark against the house and caused some damage to the siding. But Saxer’s car, parked in the driveway next to the tree, was not damaged.

“I guess we were really lucky,” Baker said. “It could have been a lot worse.”

Rain showers are in the forecast for the area this evening, with a chance of thunderstorms overnight. The storms are expected to last through Wednesday, with a chance of storms possible until Thursday.