Lightning struck and forced Tony Lorber to say goodbye to the spruce tree in his yard.

The incident occurred around 2:20 a.m. Thursday, right outside Lorber’s residence south of Litchfield near Lake Harold on Highway 23. Lorber, a retired airline pilot, has lived there for eight years.

Lorber recalled what happened in the early hours leading to the lighting strike.

“There was a really loud bang and a bright flash that woke me up,” he said. “And that’s all I knew until I woke up this morning – after daylight – and saw what happened to the tree.”

The strike was part of a thunderstorm that swept through Litchfield early Thursday. Lorber was surprised to discover that it was his tree that received a fatal blow.

“It was really loud,” Lorber said. “It was, you know, just a loud crack and the lightning at the same time. You know, usually you see a flash of lightning, and then you hear the sound afterwards, and kind of judge how far away it is from that. Well, this was instantaneous.”

The manner in which the lighting struck at the tree was peculiar, as it hit and caused the tree to explode from underneath, leaving the top half of the tree intact.

“Well it’s not alive anymore,” he said. “It’s totally gone. There won’t be any salvaging any of that… The stump, what’s left of it, is split open. Some of the dirt from around the roots is knocked away from the roots.”

With his chainsaw and tractor, he’ll clear up the branches and broken pieces of the tree, which will take him roughly three to four hours, he said.

Lorber’s invisible fence transmitter – in his shed – also exploded as a result of the lightning, he suspects.

“So apparently, lightning went through the ground and put a charge into that wire that blew the control for the pet fence,” he said.

Lorber hopes that buying a new transmitter will solve the issue, and he’s optimistic that the wiring aspect of the invisible fence is OK.

“It’s just, Mother Nature does its thing, but we’re certainly better off than the poor people in the Bahamas,” Lorber said. “And nobody got hurt. It’s just, losing a tree.”

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