Hutchinson Regional Airport struck twice by lightning in three weeks

Local

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – They say it sounded like a shotgun.

Workers at the Hutchinson Regional Airport are still in shock after a lightning bolt hit the runway more than once.

It has happened twice in the last three weeks.

“It just went boom,” says an airport restaurant worker Carmen.

“The camera automatically compensated for the bright flash, and it was pretty clear video,” says Airport Manager Pieter Miller.

One strike happened on May 5, the other, just early Monday morning.

“This is the second one we have had in three weeks,” says Miller. “What is rare is that we were able to catch it with the cameras.”

The damages from both strikes, electric. Both holes were almost several feet wide and several inches deep and only about 100 feet from each other. The two spots landed right on the runway, and they’re easily seen from the airport restaurant.

“We had two customers, and they did not stay very long,” says Carmen. “I saw a flash and it just went kaboom and you saw this great big flash and it was loud.”

For Miller, the damage is shocking.

“Absolutely, it was and the second thing that pops into my mind and then the second thing that crosses your mind is not again,” says Miller.

Two bolts that have charred their way into an unforgettable memory at the Hutchinson Regional Airport.

“We get a lot of beautiful double rainbows from this point of view, a lot of double rainbows, but never a lightning strike that close,” Carmen adds.

Airport officials say the damage cost could be a couple thousand dollars.

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