Lightning struck a water tank in Pasco County and triggered a powerful explosion Thursday night. It was a frightening episode for the entire neighborhood along Gaslight Avenue, but luckily, no one got hurt.
The concrete end support of the tank was knocked over and the tank was pushed back against a bulging fence. The tank is wide open and all of the connecting plumbing was blasted apart.
James Taylor, who lives next door, said he heard the lightning strike the tank, but said he didn't believe the tank had a lot of water in it. What little it had, though, he said, almost instantaneously "steamed," causing an incredible pressure, which caused the end to burst.
"We were all just sitting there, I was watching TV and then we heard a loud bang and the house shook a little bit, we were all like what was that? We went outside, saw the corner of our house, it was trashed," said Alex Ferreira. "We're also pretty lucky that nobody was driving by either when it flew."
The saucer-shaped lid traveled about 500 feet away and narrowly sheared off the top edge of the Ferreiras' house. It tore off parts of their gutters, then slammed down on the neighbor's driveway across the street. All told, it traveled about two blocks away.
James Taylor was in his bed barely 20 feet from the tank.
"I was sitting on the bed with my feet hanging over the edge of the bed, and the water tank exploded and knocked me off the edge of the bed into the house," he said. "The water was running down the road here and running out from the pipes. We called 911 and they came out and they couldn't find the end of the tank."
Taylor said the neighborhood is lucky no one was out walking their dog or driving by when the saucer took off.
"Lightning hit, I thought it hit my house, and then I heard seconds later, metal piping just hitting the ground. I had no idea it was something like that, something like our water tank next door," said Dana Sedgewick, who lives a few doors down. "Knowing what it is, and knowing it just bounced off the top of their home, it could have been worse and went through the window or wall."
Sedgewick said no one even saw the disk in the driveway until the first light Friday morning.
The metal saucer was the talk of the neighborhood Friday morning.
There's no word yet when the city will come and take all the heavy, metal parts away.
A boil order is in effect for all residents of the neighborhood until the city can do further testing.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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