Wild Photos Show Aftermath of Lightning Strike That Made Road Explode

Photos shared by North Carolina's Oakboro Police Department showed the aftermath of a lightning strike that caused a road to explode.

"The storm last night caused a lightning strike to a tree, which ran through the roadway, causing the roadway to explode," read the post published on the police department's Facebook page. "Road debris landed on the roof of a nearby home."

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), lightning strikes may be deadly and there are several ways that lightning can strike people.

Lightning Strike
Photos shared by a police department in North Carolina show a road that exploded after lightning struck a nearby tree. Here, a stock image of a lightning strike. mdesigner125/iStock

One way is through ground currents.

"When lightning strikes a tree or other object, much of the energy travels outward from the strike in and along the ground surface," the agency reported. "This is known as the ground current. Anyone outside near a lightning strike is potentially a victim of ground current."

The NWS said that ground currents can also travel through garage floors that contain conductive materials.

"Because the ground current affects a much larger area than the other causes of lightning casualties, the ground current causes the most lightning deaths and injuries," the NWS said.

The Oakboro Police Department said that the road needed to close, but officials said they were unable to determine when it could reopen at the time of publication.

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Power, cable and phone services were also affected in the area.

The photos showed the destroyed roadway, which had a deep rut running across the street. Debris from the road littered the area and one photo showed the tree that was struck.

In the photo, a line of bark appeared to have been missing from the tree.

Brad Panovich, a meteorologist for NBC affiliate station WCNC, commented on the post and explained that when lightning hits a tree like the one in the photo, the heat is so intense, that it flash steams the sap and water.

That causes an explosion and blows off the bark.

"In this case, the lightning went into the roots and spread underneath the road flash steaming any moisture causing the explosion," Panovich said.

Other Facebook users shared their surprise upon seeing the images.

"That's pretty intense," a Facebook user wrote. "Thank goodness no one was hurt or lost a house from that."

"Unbelievable...what a mess," one person wrote.

"Looks like the upside down is coming to Oakboro," another commenter joked, referring to the popular Netflix show Stranger Things.

Some Facebook users shared that they live close to where the lightning struck and said they could feel it.

"So this is what I heard last night and it was so loud it shook my house," one Facebook user commented.

Newsweek reached out to the Oakboro Police Department for comment.

A video was shared on Twitter showing the moment that a car was struck by lightning during a tornado.

One woman was touring a house when lightning struck it and blew debris onto her car as seen in a viral TikTok video.

A teenage girl was reportedly struck by lightning while she was inside her house but survived.