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Lightning causes more damage than you might think

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Posted at 8:48 PM, Jul 11, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-11 20:48:36-04

RICHMOND, VA (WTVR)--It was a boom so loud, it woke the family and rocked the house.

At 3:30 a.m., all Anson and Trenia Owen could do was scream for their two daughters, and then get the family downstairs; while trying to figure out what had happened.

By daybreak, it was obvious what had happened, and the damage quite evident.

Outside vinyl siding had been torn from the house, a gutter split open, a hole in a wood fence and three holes in the yard beside the garage.

Inside cracks in the sheet rock, televisions not working, a dishwasher that just turned itself on, a rod in a clothes closet collapses, the garage door won't open and cable boxes in several rooms are fried.

The home had been hit by lightning and will take some time to repair the damage.

For J.J. Loehr, of Loehr Lightning Protection Company, it's the sign of just how powerful and destructive lightning can be, and also the only force of nature you can protect yourself from, by simply installing lightning rods on your house.

A typical 2500 square foot rancher would cost the homeowner a couple thousand dollars.

But Loehr says, the peace of mind is priceless because most homes with lightning rods, if they are struck, the people inside never know.

But like the Owen Family, if a home is hit without protection, time and money will take care of the damages.