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Extreme weather: Man nearly hit by lightning in Acton

August 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A father was nearly hit by lightning at his Acton home, while his baby sat in the living room, and it was caught on camera.

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William McNeill was recording the rainfall outside his home when all of a sudden there was a loud boom.

"I felt my hair kind of lift up on my arms and felt this tingle in my body and two seconds later, the lightning bolt hit. It seemed maybe just 10 feet away," said McNeill.

McNeill said it shook his house and sounded like a shotgun. It was so bright, he couldn't see for a few seconds.

"All you saw in your eyes was the shape of the lightning bolt and then black," said McNeill.

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He felt his way into his living room to feel for his baby boy. He then called his mom, Ellen Hardbarger, for help. She lives just up the street and saw the lightning too.

"It was like a bomb, no kidding, a bomb went off in front of my door," said Hardbarger.

McNeill said after the lightning hit, his cellphone stopped working. It had 60 percent beforehand, and it went down to zero. It took almost half an hour to get any charge back. Many of his neighbors lost electricity, but luckily, no one was injured. McNeill said he feels grateful to be alive.

"If I had been standing outside the awning, I believe definitely I could have been hit," he said.

Meanwhile, around the same time, rain was pounding Apple Valley, and high winds in Nuevo knocked down power poles, leaving many without power.

In most of Southern California, though, it's just plain old hot. People tried to beat the heat by going to cooling centers, such as libraries or ice skating rinks. Residents are advised to drink a lot of fluids, stay in cool indoor places and out of the sun, if possible. Authorities also remind people that children and pets should not be left unattended in the sun or in cars with the windows up, even for a short period of time.

Cooling centers have been set up throughout Southern California, and Southern California Edison also has sites established throughout the state.

Find a cooling center in your area

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