Lightning strike comes close to hitting man


After an intense but brief rainstorm Wednesday morning, lightning struck Jim Howell’s plumeria tree at about 7:25 a.m. in the front yard of his Montgomery Avenue home in Encinitas, behind Cardiff Elementary.

Howell, who was standing outside, estimated he was about 12 feet from the bolt.

“It came down with a huge crack,” Howell said. “Surprisingly, I wasn’t afraid. I was just amazed. It was eye-opening.”

Howell said he’s glad to be OK, but it’s unfortunate the lightning split his tree. He added it’s odd the lightning somehow snaked past power lines above and his Kentia palm trees that flank the plumeria.

He added with a laugh he probably should have listened to his wife, who told him not to go outside earlier due to thunder.