Lightning Too Close For Comfort For Biloxi Man - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/24/03

Lightning Too Close For Comfort For Biloxi Man

For many of you, a severe thunderstorm was the scene Monday afternoon driving home from work. But for Jim Bourque, it was scene in which he was hoping a director would yell "Cut".

"All of a sudden just a big loud boom of lightning that struck, you know the bright light and those little sparkles falling on my window and all that stuff you know I told my wife, you know I actually yelled, 'Wow that was close'," said Bourque.

Close indeed. A bolt of lightning had blistered the paint on his Honda Civic in about 8 spots, including a spot that was 18 inches from his head. He smelled the burning metal, but there was more internal damage that became apparent after he began to coast toward the shoulder of Highway 90.

"All the lights started coming on, you know, my SRS - my safety restraint system light came on, my anti lock brake light came on, my temp gauge was dead. The air conditioner fan started up real slow then kicked up, so it was obviously some noticeable things working with it electronically," said Bourque.

"It's getting more and more common. We see it more often. It's because of the number of cars on the road. Lightning is finding a way to get to the ground and of course automobiles are in their way. Over the years it gets more and more frequent but not something we see on a daily basis," said Pat Peck Honda service department manager Nelson Kajden.

Now, Bourque is still waiting for the insurance adjuster to come out and determine the amount of car damage, but through it all, he will continue to do what his car tag urges others to do - Praise Him - because it could have been worse. "I'm just glad I'm still here," said Bourque. By Karla Redditte

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