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Storm damage heavy Monday night

By Sherri Ellington Beware of the lightning afternoon and evening storms are bringing to the area. ’Papa’ John Gilbert is spending the day getting back his hearing after lightning hit a tree in his back yard, then traveled through the water system into his Thomaston Street house and hit the gas meter. ’It set the gas meter on fire and blew the water meter out of the sidewalk,’ said Gilbert. ‘It knocked out all the lights, phones and cable TV and busted out the PVC water pipes in the yard.’ Gilbert, was sitting on a swing on his back porch when the lightning struck a tree he refers to as ‘half belonging to Carolyn Parker,’ his next door neighbor. It came out of the ground just feet from where he was sitting. ’I couldn’t hear a thing until this morning,’ he said. ‘It blew a hole in the yard right behind me.’ The former gas company worker calmly put a wrench into the flaming gas meter and turned it off, snuffing what could have been a potentially devastating fire. ’It got rough around here for a few minutes. That was the brightest light I’ve ever seen,’ he said. ‘I think I’m staying inside tonight.’

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