Reporting Ian Schwartz
NEVADA CITY (CBS13) — Monday’s storms gave a Nevada City man quite the jolt when lightning struck his car.
People in Grass Valley are used to thunderstorms, but this one got a little too close to comfort for Steven Conrad.
When driving in our cars, we feel fairly safe from the elements, but sometimes a storm just wants to reach out and touch someone.
“Rain was pouring down and lightning had been going on and off, and I just heard that buzzing noise around my car.”
Steven was driving home for lunch on Monday in Nevada City when he heard a buzzing noise—that buzz, oftentimes near a car antenna, means a lightning strike is about to happen.
“I heard the buzzing, and I saw the flash, and my first thought was a transformer just exploded.”
That was no transformer, it was a lightning bolt that hit Steven’s car.
“The flash kinda blinded everything out, so everything went white. Then I saw those balls of electricity that kinda dissipated.”
He says he saw what looked like sparks coming off his windshield, similar to other cars hit by lightning.
After the bolt blast, Steven was fine. But he wasn’t sure about any damage.
“First thing I grabbed my cellphone to check that, because those things are expensive, and I didn’t want it to get shocked.”
Steven says he’s glad the startling strike didn’t send him off the road, and the only thing he’s left with is something to share with his friends.
“I’m OK. it’s nice to have a story like that to tell—especially when you walk away from it safely, without anything happening.”
According to the national Lightning Safety Institute, you should pull over and turn off your car and put your hands on your lap until the storm passes if your car has been struck.
Once it passes, you’re safe to touch things in the car and drive again.