Woman Films Lightning Illuminating Tree Yards From North Carolina Home Amid Storm

A woman has captured incredible images of a lightning strike during a storm in North Carolina.

Monica Capen was visiting her parents at their home in the community of Climax when the strike occurred only around 50 yards away from where the family were sitting in a sheltered area outside next to a pool.

"We noticed a tremendous amount of lightning in the area heading towards us so I began taking videos," Capen told Newsweek. "In the video there was a strike that was very close and you can hear my brother in the background state he was going in the house because the lightning was within three seconds of the thunder and getting closer."

"I kept filming and approximately 10 seconds later the strike hit about 50 yards from us in my parents' backyard on the first set of trees before entering the woods. The sound was so loud! It scared me at first and I was kinda shocked for a second and we went into the house where more lightning continued around us."

Capen said the family were "so lucky" considering they were only 20 feet from the in-ground swimming pool, which could have acted as a contact point.

In the footage Capen captured, the lightning bolt appears to strike a tree. But she said that after the storm, the family investigated the area of the strike and discovered that this was not the case.

Instead, the lightning bolt appears to have struck a long metal pole beside the tree attached to a birdhouse that was lying on the ground.

"I believe this pole is what saved us and the trees. It was an amazing experience and honestly I did not think about how lucky myself and my parents were until after looking at the video."

Capen said the strike burnt a hole roughly six feet in diameter and four inches deep into the ground, while also singing tree roots and snapping larger ones in half. She added that the experience was hopefully a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience.

The odds of being struck by lightning are extremely low—around one in a million, figures from the National Weather Service (NWS) show.

Nevertheless, lightning is among the leading causes of storm-related deaths in the U.S. Between 2009 and 2018, there was an average of 27 lightning fatalities every year in the U.S.

A lightning strike in North Carolina
This screenshot is taken from a video captured by Monica Capen showing a lightning strike in Climax, North Carolina, on March 27. Monica Capen