Here's a new one, at least for me:
I was awakened around 1 a.m. by a sudden, torrential downpour that wasn't even forecast the day before. After just a minute or so -- BANG! -- with no interval between the clap of thunder and the flash of light.
I was going to roll over and go back to sleep but I decided to get up and see if the power had been knocked out. I discovered 5 of the 10 fuses in my ancient service panel had been blown out, blackened actually, and that the phone was out.
As I came back up the basement stairs I could smell gas from somewhere -- but not from the furnace or water heater. When I stuck my head out the front door, the rain had stopped but there was a loud gushing, bubbling sound coming from near the gas meter, along with a REAL strong odor of gas. Needless to say, I grabbed cell phone and called the gas company from the other side of the house (upwind). They arrived in 15 minutes, and looking quite alarmed, shut the gas off at the street.
Later, when they returned to repair the line, they found a charred fitting where the metal pipe from the meter joins the plastic line that comes up from the street. And this line is almost 3 ft. deep!!!
Question for anyone here: Aren't gas lines supposed to be grounded in order to prevent this kind of thing? What else can one do to protect gas lines and meters from lightning strikes? I always have worried about the phone & electric during storms, unplugging everything I could if a t-storm is forecast. Should I take this up with my gas company or report it to the public service commission?
Something I never thought would happen. I shudder when I think that the whole house could have blown up.