OAKDALE — Lightning hit a tree in Oakdale and damaged three buildings on North Second Avenue and East B Street around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
A city crew worked to take down the tree that had been snapped in half while onlookers watched.
The aftermath was a spectacle that amazed and startled neighbors.
“It was just a bright light in our house and then at the same time there was a loud noise,” neighbor Christen Dalpy said. “I said ‘that’s amazing’ and my son, he’s 2, he said, ‘that’s amazing!’”
“I walked out of here and just my jaw hit the floor,” a woman who asked us to hide her identity told us.
Three homes were damaged by the falling tree, power had to be cut off for hours, but fortunately, no one was hurt.
“We had a transformer on fire and a tree across the roadway, so our first priority is make sure everybody was safe,” Captain Tony Miranda with the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Department said.
“Yep, that’s my house man,” Dustin Mahelis said.
The downed tree broke a window on his rented home. He says he was in Oakland when the lightening hit, but three of his family’s dogs were in the backyard when Mother Nature decided to strike.
“They had to drag one of the dogs out from underneath the tree. Luckily they’re all right,” he explained.
The hardest hit home was Mahelis’s next door neighbor’s. She did not want to share her name with us but said, “I wasn’t scared it was just a shock.”
She said she’ll have her property owner fix the damage on the carport and the backroom. She added she is grateful because the damage could have been much worse.
“I’m sorry it happened, but I’m glad there was no further deeper damage than that,” she said
Mahelis said none of his private property was damaged and he will be moving out within two months.
A city official told us off camera that the property owner is responsible for cleaning up the mess.