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Tree in St. Pete struck by lightning twice exactly 1 week apart, woman says

The lightning strikes were caught on a neighbor's security camera.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A tree in St. Petersburg has endured two lightning strikes exactly one week apart, one homeowner says. It now has the family wondering if it's been happening and they're just now realizing. 

"It'll probably get hit again as it is the tallest thing nearby," Kathy Crotts said. 

It all began on Aug. 20, when lightning struck the Norfolk Pine standing tall on the side of the home. Crotts said she and her husband went inside from their pool area when a storm rolled in. They were just about to go back outside thinking the stormy weather cleared when lightning struck just before 7 p.m.

"We knew something close had been hit, but not what," Crotts explained. 

It wasn't until their neighbors across the street sent them a text to see if they were OK after they saw the lightning through their front window. They pulled up the video from their doorbell camera and sent it to the Crotts.

The video shows a lightning strike pierce the tree with a bang. 

Crotts' said the strike also apparently went through the cable lines and hit their cable boxes.

The following week, it happened again. This time at around 5:38 p.m. Crotts' husband was home at the time when he said it sounded like the tree was struck. He asked their neighbor if they caught it on their security camera and sure enough, there it was. 

In the second video, two cars are passing by as the road began to flood. Once lightning strikes the tree, one car slows down even more through the flooded road.

"This time the damage was to some low voltage outdoor lighting transformer boxes," Crotts said.

As far as the tree goes, Crotts said it looks fine. Other than some sap oozing from the trunk, near the ground, the pine has proven it can take a hit or two.

Credit: Kathy Crotts
A tree in St. Petersburg was struck by lightning twice exactly one week apart.

The Crotts have lived in the house for more than 20 years and the tree has been there longer.

"We wonder now how many times it might have been struck in the past without our realizing it," she says. 

When it's not being struck by lightning, the homeowners say they take a liking to the tall tree because it's also a perch for osprey and sometimes bald eagles.

"Maybe it is protecting the house like a natural lightning rod," Crotts says.

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