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(USA TODAY) -- As flash flood warnings went into effect Wednesday evening and as Tropical Storm Arthur approached the tri-state area, New York City photographers were met with a unique opportunity: a picture of lightning against the evening sky.

In one surreal looking image reminiscent of the apocalyptic movie Independence Day, a white bolt of lightning is seen shooting through a cover of dark clouds down toward the East River.

The United Nations and the Tudor City housing complex are visible in the photo too.

Arthur was expected to reach hurricane strength before the July 4 holiday and was taking aim at coastal North Carolina, though it also set off drenching rains in the New York area on Wednesday.

Tower cam shot of lightning near Empire State Building

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