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Overnight Storms, Lightning Leave Behind Damage

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The strong storms and lightning that moved through the area overnight left behind some damage in parts of the area.

The forces of nature launched an all-out airborne assault on the Pittsburgh area in the pre-dawn hours of Thursday.

Hundreds of lightning strikes peppered the area, doing a lot more than just waking a few people up from their night's sleep.

"Lightning is nothing to mess around with," said one local firefighter. "If it comes down, it can hit pretty hard."

Like the apartment building on Potomac Avenue in Dormont. A direct hit blew the corner of the building off. Bricks were thrown up to 100 feet from the structure.

"I was in the shower, and I heard this really big bang," said one resident. "I saw flashing lights near my window. I thought the building was on fire."

There was no fire, but some cleanup and a couple thousand dollars in repairs will be necessary.

If it wasn't lightning strikes, it was wind-weakened and water-logged limbs falling in places like Squirrel Hill.

An enormous limb broke loose at North Umberland near Murray Avenue. It took down wires and the road had to be closed.

Then, there's the case of Bob Malloy in Banksville.

Malloy is living proof of the adage used by KDKA meteorologist Dennis Bowman: "When thunder roars, stay indoors."

"I basically came out through the side door, turned around to get an umbrella, came back into the house and 20 seconds later, the hair stands up on the back of my neck," said Malloy.

His property was hit by one of the lightning strikes.

"Hits the tree, comes down through, electrifies the light stand, blows the lights out, but I would have been probably within five feet of being right there."

The energy from the strike did hit his house. It traveled underground and inside.

"Blew the wall switch off the wall, like cracked it in half," said Malloy. "The fire department came, checked it out, supposedly everything is good."

Meanwhile in Butler County, lightning struck a home in the 200-block of White Oak Place in Adams Township, according to emergency officials.

It happened around 3:30 a.m. as the storms started moving into the area.

No injuries were reported there.

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