Monsoon 2013

Aug 21, 2013 12:33 AM by Rebecca Taylor

Lightning catches palm tree and home on fire

TUCSON - The monsoon woke up late Tuesday afternoon, bringing heavy downpours and flash flood warnings.

The Southwest side got hit the hardest today.

It was slow going for drivers as they made their way through flooded roads.

The clouds rolled in, the wind kicked up and the rain started falling.

Some areas were hit so hard the clean up continues.

Blowing dust blanketed Tucson's South side near Interstates 10 and 19 turning blue skies gray.

Winds upwards of 65 miles an hour were reported.

Further south roads near Rita Ranch flooded.

At the fairgrounds the Weather Service reported an inch of rain fell within 30 minutes.

Besides rain and flooding the storm brought with it lightning. It touched down, catching a palm tree and home on fire.

Six people including two kids were home. Firefighters say the lightning bolt hit the tree and the roof, then exited the bedroom. You could see where the block exploded above the bedroom window. Firefighters say the force was so strong, it knocked a man down.

Alma Marcus was home when the lightning hit. "We were inside the kitchen when we saw the storm and the lightening. It was so scary," she says.

Everyone got out safe.

Firefighters knocked down the flames.

Utility crews checked the home and the family was allowed back inside.

Fire officials say the peak season for lightning strikes is Summer.

To stay safe stay indoors and away from windows.

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