When lightning strikes
Teenagers are often characterized as overdramatic. Many adults believe teenagers always act as if the world is ending over the smallest inconvenience. But occasionally their reactions can be a little underwhelming.
Jeanne Gutfeld Lucas' 18-year-old daughter texted her around 6:20 p.m. June 26, "nonchalantly" stating that a tree next to their house on Hidden Springs Court had fallen.
Gutfeld Lucas had quite a different reaction when she came home and saw the tree.
"When I first got out of the car and saw what happened I was distraught. I was walking around in circles. I didn't know what to do," she said.
The tree hadn't simply fallen. It was struck by lighting, causing it to splinter and sending sharp shards of wood in all directions, damaging their home's roof, the gutter and even piercing the roof of their neighbor's house.
Gutfeld Lucas said heavy limbs had fallen across their front door so her daughter couldn't get out. Still, she said neighbors were able to check on the teenager before Gutfeld Lucas returned home.
Considering the strength of last week's storm, the damage did not seem too widespread. The City of West Linn Public Works Department only cleared a few trees the next day and West Linn Police received only three phone calls concerning fallen trees and powerlines that afternoon and evening, according to police records.
But for Gutfeld Lucas and her family, the storm was severe. The lightning-struck tree was near enough to their house to fry all the electronic devices that had been plugged in, cut out their power, and two days later, part of their roof was still covered with a tarp. Even their neighbor's TV was blown out by the lightning, she said.
"I could not believe what had happened. KGW and Fox 12 (who came to cover the storm and damage at the house) said they had never seen such a thing," Gutfeld Lucas said.
Thankfully, Gutfeld Lucas said, dealing with the damage in the aftermath of the storm has been simpler than she expected.
A tree service company came the next day to clear the tree and debris and their power was restored within a couple days.
"Everyone is very cooperative. Our insurance agent is the neighbor's insurance agent, so he's been helping us out. It's been a lot easier than I thought," she said.
One of their neighbors even helped get power to their house the next day with a giant extension cord.
Gutfeld Lucas expressed gratitude for everyone who has helped her and her family during and after the storm.
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