One neighborhood is still feeling the effects of a powerful afternoon strike.
A lightning bolt struck a palm tree in Chula Vista near the intersection of Claire and I streets at about 3 p.m. on Thursday. The bolt then traveled down the tree and burst a water main beneath the street. The blast was so powerful that it blew out windows in at least three nearby homes.
Crews shut off the water main and began to repair the pipe and street. Water district personnel said an 8-inch concrete pipe was ruptured by the lightning. Employees at the scene said they have never seen a water main damaged in that way. Repairs were expected to take at least eight hours.
Fortunately, no one got hurt.
While that story was unique to that neighborhood on Thursday, hundreds of people around the county had stories to share. Video taken about 11 a.m. by an office worker at the Public Utilities Department in downtown caught lightning on tape and what appears to be a funnel cloud. At the same time and a few blocks away, NBC photographer Alejendro Alejandre shot lightning strikes with a digital camera. He said thunder set off car alarms nearby.
In University Heights, lightning hit a tree next to a home, sending a woman fleeing outside with her 2-month old baby. The house was fine but the trees a bit burned.
A neighbor, Dante Dunaway, 24, heard it and ran to help.
"It sounded like a bunch of cars crashing into each other and then a loud boom. The whole living room just lit up," Dunaway said.
The thunderstorms were widespread from the coast to the desert, moving towards the northwest.