Lightning damages Gardnerville Ranchos homes |

Lightning damages Gardnerville Ranchos homes

by Susie Vasquez
Nevada Appeal News Service

GARDNERVILLE – Neighbors gathered to swap war stories on Joette Drive after a lightning strike hit a 30-foot poplar in Laura Kolbe’s front yard around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“It was like a bomb hit,” she said.

There were no injuries, but Kolbe’s front door jam was blown out. The strike plowed two large furrows on either side of the tree and chunks of turf lay on the lawn. Roots, bark and mud were scattered throughout the neighborhood. and Kolbe’s SUV, which was parked in the driveway next to the tree, wouldn’t start.

The car was peppered with mud. and debris and the windshield was badly cracked.

Neighborhood VCRs and televisions all suffered. Biscuit, a neighborhood cat, was still missing an hour after the strike.

Kolbe’s son Garrett, 16, said he saw the bolt of lightning from his bedroom window.

“It fried my computer,” he said.

Just a few doors away, Cheryl Miller said the canned lights in her kitchen were blown from their sockets, but still hanging from the ceiling.

“It was almost like an earthquake. My smoke alarms went off, but the electricity was still on,” she said. “That’s incredible.”

Rain and half-inch-diameter hail peppered the Minden-Gardnerville area about midday on Wednesday and the Carson Valley weather was the rule, rather than the exception, according to Jon Bonk, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

“The entire state experienced thunderstorms at one time or another Wednesday,” he said.

An unsettled atmosphere is ahead of a low-pressure area moving into the west from the Pacific brought the storm. The conditions are expected to extend well into the next week.

Showers are possible through the weekend, with light snow accumulations expected in the mountains at lake level an altitude of about 6,500 feet, Bonk said.

n Contact reporter Susie Vasquez at or 782-5121, ext. 211.