SAN MATEO COUNTY (KRON) — During Monday night’s storm, lightning hit a tree in San Mateo County and fell on top of a house, leaving a wide hole in the roof.
The homeowner was inside when the lightning bolt struck.
Homeowner Phil Gruber said he saw and heard the tree come down on his home.
Part of the tree is still there–on the house on Pearl Avenue.
The homeowner was just a few feet away from the tree when the lightning bolt came crashing down.
“Scared the hell out of me,” Gruber said.
The once mighty cypress tree outside of Gruber’s house is now splintered and shattered.
And part of it is resting on his roof.
“It happened so fast,” Gruber said. “I don’t know what I saw.”
Around 6 p.m. Monday, Phil was on his deck with his wife watching the evening sky dance with lightning.
“I was counting the seconds, and the next thing I know, this tree blew up,” Gruber said.
A bolt flashed before him with a force he’d never seen or heard before.
“I thought it was a bomb,” Gruber said. “Someone showed up today who said they heard it 2 miles away.”
A few pieces of wood flew off and almost smacked Phil in the face.
He kept the sharpest ones to show KRON4.
“That is why we saved these two to remind us how lucky we are to not be impaled,” Gruber said.
Phil took a video of the fire department and county out late at night, sawing up the huge branch that landed on the street, blocking the roads.
What is left is now a scrap pile in his driveway.
A tree branch pierced a hole the size of a kitchen sink in his roof. Some of the deck is also damaged.
And a gutter dangles like it’s on a string.
To get it all fixed will cost about $10,000.
During the next storm to stay safe, Phil says he’ll stand right by the tree stump because lightning never strikes the same spot twice.
“What are the odds of that happening to anyone? I’ve been told I should go play the lottery now,” Gruber said.
The rest of the tree will have to come down.
That process will start on Wednesday morning.
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