Lightning Striking Fear In Green Country Residents

Friday, May 2nd 2008, 10:20 pm
By: News On 6

Lightning sparks are bringing new worries for Green Country homeowners. Damage from lightning strikes can cause thousands of dollars in damage and threaten lives. News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports there is an old-fashioned, a lightning rod for the rooftop.

It seems every time storms roll through, lightning causes damage.

On Thursday night, a home in South Tulsa was damaged when lightning blew two holes in the roof.

Just a few weeks ago, an East Tulsa man was rattled out of bed with a big bang.

Gary Bryant knows the feeling.  Lightning hit his rural Coweta home four times within the first year they lived here.

"Computers, phones, electronics, just random stuff got fried.  You have to replace that stuff each time, it was a hassle," said Bryant.

Bryant decided enough is enough and installed lightning rods on his roof.

Joe Ousley with Bob Dooley Electric says most of their lightning rod business used to be around Grand and Tenkiller Lakes on homes, on bluffs. But he says more people in and around Tulsa are becoming interested in the safety feature.

"There's a lot of big houses on hills and lightning kind of strikes, takes the path of best ground and if your house happens to be the best point of ground that's where it's going to hit," said Ousley.

Here's basically how it works. Rods are placed every 15 feet. They're connected to a copper or aluminum wire that is grounded, giving the bolt somewhere to go.

"It needs to go the closest route to the ground," said Ousley.

Ousley says the average price is about $2,500, but can be higher depending on the size of the house, pitch of the roof, and the price of copper.

For the Bryant's, the cost was well worth it.

"I'm not worried about my house burning down by lightning strikes, or stuff getting burned up.  Especially when we are not here, you know," said Bryant.

Most insurance companies don't offer a break on your homeowner's policy if you get lightning rods. But some homeowners say they pay for themselves by avoiding damage to your home and appliances.