By Kurtis Ming

RESCUE (CBS13) – There’s no telling when and where a lightning bolt will strike. If you’re not prepared, you could be on your own to replace lots of pricey electronics and appliances.

For Stanley and Dory Moriguchi, a power surge from a lightning strike caused $10,000 in damage to their home in Rescue.

“It felt like the whole house lifted up off its foundation and fell back down,” said Dory.

Booming thunder Stanley says it was the loudest they’ve heard, “I’m going holy cow.”

The costly lightning strike resulted in damage to their refrigerator, freezer, satellite dish, lamps, and destroyed their furnace.

“The wires were all brown and all burned,” said Dory.

PG&E says lightning can travel into a home through a direct hit, power, cable or phone lines – and even through pipes and water.

So what should you do to protect your house if lightning is in the forecast?

“Customers can unplug any appliances during a lightning storm that they would like to protect,” said Brandi Ehlers-Merlo with PG&E.

If you’re in a lightning-prone area, you may consider a whole home surge protector.

Check your coverage, if lightning hits most homeowner’s policies cover lightning damage.

Dory says she feels unsettled when the clouds start rolling in.

“I get nervous when it starts to thunder and lightning,” Dory said. “It could happen again.”

Though it’s a lesson learned, the Moriguchi’s are afraid lightning will hit twice. But this time they’re a little more prepared after purchasing a whole home surge protector.

Things to keep in mind: You have a year to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance. If your power goes out in a storm, you may want to unplug everything only leaving one light on, so you know when the power comes back on.

You can also invest in whole home surge protectors expect to pay anywhere from few hundred into the thousands, depending on how much protection you want.

At the end of the day, it’s a lot cheaper than paying $10,000 to replace your appliances.


Leave a Reply