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Stratford man captures lightning strike on video during recent storm

Cody Watson stands in his backyard in Stratford near a tree that lightning struck during a storm Thursday afternoon.
Cody Watson stands in his backyard in Stratford near a tree that lightning struck during a storm Thursday afternoon. - Ryan Ross

STRATFORD, P.E.I. - When Cody Watson was looking out his window Thursday, he wasn’t expecting to see a lightning strike nearby.

However, after capturing on video a bolt hitting his neighbour’s tree in Stratford, Watson said he won’t be looking to get that close again.

“I’ve seen what lightning can do,” he said.

On Thursday, thunder storms moved across P.E.I. bringing with them periods of torrential rain.

Watson said he was hoping to capture something on video after the lightning started around 3 p.m. Thursday.

What he captured in a video taken through a window looking out at his backyard was a bright flash as a bolt of lightning hit a tree in front of his neighbour’s house.

There was also a loud crack like a gunshot.

The video, which is only a few seconds long, shakes as Watson jumps back from the window after the strike.

“It was quite a scare,” Watson said.

After the lightning strike, Watson spoke to his neighbours who he said told him they had Christmas lights wrapped around the tree.

The wires melted to the tree, the bulbs were scattered across the driveway and some of the ground was turned up after the strike, Watson said.

Although the video captured what looked like the tree on fire, Watson said it was still intact.

“The fire was definitely put out by the heavy rain,” he said.

Related: Rainfall record set in Charlottetown Aug. 9

Watson said he shares a backyard with the neighbour and the tree was about 100 feet away from where he was shooting the video.

“It was so loud.”

As soon as the lightning struck, Watson’s wife closed all the windows in the house, grabbed their dogs and went to the middle of the house, he said.

“Me, I’m a little more adventurous so I wanted to see as much as I could.”

Watson said it was so close he could feel the storm in his chest.

“The vibrations, the power of the thunder,” he said.

Twitter.com/ryanrross

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