Lightning strikes Soldotna business

The Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council building was struck by lightning late Friday afternoon in the midst of a storm that passed over the Central Kenai Peninsula.

In an act usually uncommon on the peninsula, lightning touched down outside and arced over the building, said Cari Friendshuh, the building’s property manager. No one was hurt when the lightning struck, she said.

“I’ve never seen lightning strike so closely in my life,” she said. “It really made a really, really, loud noise when it did.”

One side of the building lost power. The phones are “fried,” Friendshuh said, and an electrician has been on the scene examining the situation. The section of the building housing the Tourism Marketing Council received no damage or power outage, though Executive Director Shanon Davis and employee Kelly Martin saw lightning strike inside the building in the doorframe of one of the inner offices.

“It was crazy. Kelly and I are sitting in our office… we were commenting on the crazy rainstorm,” Davis said. “And she saw the flash right outside the building.”

At first, the women thought the lightning had only touched down outside the building, until they learned power was out on the other side.

“What I’m thinking happened is that it actually struck the building and as it was traveling through the walls or something it jumped,” Davis. “We keep looking around. We don’t have any black marks.”

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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