WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Lightning strikes homes; power outage

(Added: WSB photos)

6:56 PM: The thunderstorms that moved through this past hour have done some damage. Seattle Fire is on scene in the ~10700 block of Marine View Drive SW, where residents report lightning hit multiple houses; no fire, but some damage is reported. In that area, more than 200 homes are without power, according to the City Light map.

7:56 PM: We’ve been to two of the homes with lightning damage.

In both cases, glass was broken, but no one was hurt.

Some tree damage too. At one home, the damage was focused on a detached dwelling unit which had no one inside at the time.

9 PM: Photos added. The residents report the lightning strike was colorful – they saw red at one point – as well as powerful.

12:33 AM: Could be more overnight, says @WestSeaWx.

26 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Lightning strikes homes; power outage"

  • Ryan October 18, 2019 (7:21 pm)

    Never experienced lightning that close before. Was truly frightening. 

  • Jason S October 18, 2019 (7:32 pm)

    It was quite a strike that hit our neighbors house two doors down.  Everyone looks ok.  Enough concussive force that it knocked some pictures off the wall and blew a few circuit breakers even though the lights stayed on.  Quick response from SFD with the ladder truck checking roofs.

    • WSB October 18, 2019 (7:41 pm)

      Thank you for the update. My co-publisher is in the area trying to find out more. Glad no one was hurt.

  • J October 18, 2019 (7:37 pm)

    I live about ten houses away from where lightning hit and I have never experienced anything like that before. Thought my house was going to collapse. Things fell off my shelves. My poor dog. 

  • Susie October 18, 2019 (7:52 pm)

    I’m at 39th and MVD and my whole house shook.  Totally scary!  Glad no one was hurt.

  • Amanda C. October 18, 2019 (8:03 pm)

    That flash of lightning was unreal!!! Was looking out a window at the time and was seriously blinded for a moment. Looks like I was just a couple blocks away from where it struck.

  • Kersti Muul October 18, 2019 (8:03 pm)

    During the last big lightening storm in September, I went to the beach to watch it. I had the most beautiful experience Ive ever had in my life. Lightening touched down in the water about 50 yards from me, I could see sparks flying off of it and it seemed 50 feet wide. I was paralytic with awe and confusion. I couldn’t really find words for the rest of the night, so I just remained in awestruck silence. I will never forget that power.

  • Jim P. October 18, 2019 (8:37 pm)

    I live over by Westwood and it sounded like major artillery strikes. Walls rattled a bit even.  I don’t think I’ve *ever* heard lightning like that including riding out a nasty storm near a mountain peak in the Sierras.

    • RW October 19, 2019 (4:10 am)

      That was the thunder you heard, and it was quite loud. Lightening is soundless.

      • EL October 19, 2019 (11:45 am)

        Actually, lightning causes the thunder, from the rapid expansion of air surrounding a bolt.  No bolt – no thunder, and you can’t have a bolt without thunder.

      • Jim P. October 19, 2019 (12:34 pm)

        A bit needlessly pedantic don’t you think?  :)  Thunder is a direct result of a lightning strike so you are indeed hearing the lightning.We just happen to have given the sound effects a separate name which we don’t do for a lot of other things that make loud noises.

  • Betsy October 18, 2019 (8:49 pm)

    Did anyone perceive that strike as being red and white? I had the strangest sensation that it was both!

  • Josh October 18, 2019 (9:01 pm)

    Betsy- I noticed that too, was looking at the sky and it was a red/white flash!

  • HS October 18, 2019 (9:24 pm)

    The lightening must have struck close to my home. The walls shook and my ears were ringing! Someone reported seeing a partially formed funnel cloud over Arbor Heights that dumped debris from the sky according to the Nextdoor group.

  • Toni Reineke October 18, 2019 (9:50 pm)

    I live about 1.5 blocks from the damaged  houses. Was standing  at my kitchen table looking south toward 107th. From the power of the strike, I’m shocked to learn that the hit was not on the ground right in front of my window. I’ve been in many lightning storms in my 77 years, but the power of this strike is unforgettable–whole body felt like the lightning went through it! Glad all are safe and that the damage is so limited!

  • Toni Reineke October 18, 2019 (10:02 pm)

    P.S. And if it was that terrifying for me a block and a half away, I can’t imagine what it must have been like for those  whose houses it actually hit. As I said, glad you’re safe! 

  • 1994 October 18, 2019 (11:24 pm)

    I am over near SW 100 St and I saw a huge fast flash of light,  like an old camera flash bulb going off.  The sound that immediately followed caused my windows to vibrate and the house to shake – it was incredible.  I thought for sure the light hit something nearby but it was 6 or 7 blocks south of my house!  I hope everyone gets their power back this evening.

    • WSB October 18, 2019 (11:55 pm)

      About half the original 200-plus are still out, according to the SCL map.

  • M.B. October 19, 2019 (1:08 am)

    1.5 MILES east from the one on Marine. It still rattled the house enough to rattle the floorboards.

  • LeeLoo October 19, 2019 (1:11 am)

    I and my pup were in Westwood leaving the pet store when there was a massive flash of light and yes it had like red and white in it. And in between that and literally a millisecond later before the thunderclap it felt like the lightning thrust a sonic wave against me! It was AWESOME! Of course the pup didn’t think so. I even said out loud to no one in particular, “oh my God I felt that!”Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience I am happy tonight experience again.

  • Bradley October 19, 2019 (2:10 am)

    I watched the storm envelope West Seattle from The Landing in Renton on the lake. A black mega-cloud lowered over the peninsula and the lightning was stretching over to Renton right away. It looked like a dark mother ship was landing on West Seattle. You could see intense rain underneath the storm cell. About 30 minutes later Renton was under severe rain and lightning. 

  • uncle loco October 19, 2019 (4:53 am)

    I was walking into the Safeway on Roxbury when that hit. It sounded like a cannon went off down the street. It set off a few car alarms in the neighborhood.

  • Blair Wyman October 19, 2019 (7:35 am)

    We live on Seola Beach Drive. Unreal lighting strike! Our French doors almost blew open from the concussion. We have a creek out front. The rain brought a tree down that flowed down stream and got stuck. It almost flooded over the banks. Good thing I went and looked so I could dislodge it. I still love a good storm! Bring the snow next! Whohooo

    • Sue October 19, 2019 (8:21 am)

      Blair too early for snow neighbor

  • Laurel Sheridan October 19, 2019 (8:11 am)

    I live between Sealth and Westwood Village – the boom from this set off half a dozen car alarms in the neighborhood, shook the house like crazy, sent pets scurrying under furniture 😂

  • Jeremy October 19, 2019 (8:03 pm)

    I live on 106th and marine view and it hit right in front of our house. I was looking out our large, west-facing windows when it hit and I can’t explain it but it was like I felt the light – like electricity flowed through me. Then the huge crack of thunder came – it was unreal.

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