The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

June 25, 2013

Lightning strikes tree, starts attic fire in Lewisburg

— LEWISBURG - A 300-mile line of violent thunderstorms and heavy wind gusts moved through Pennsylvania and into the Valley at about 9 p.m. Tuesday, letting loose a lightning bolt that struck a tree and started a fire in the attic of a Lewisburg house, knocking down trees and causing more than 2,700 PPL customers to lose power in Monroe Township, Juniata County.

Also losing power were 153 customers in Perry County, including 95 in Tyrone Township. In Lower Mahanoy Township, Northumberland County, 19 customers were without power.

The attic of a house occupied by the Bucknell University provost caught fire at about 9:30 after a freak lightning strike split the top of a tall tree standing in front of the dwelling. The lightning ran through the electric wiring that ran through the tree and into the attic, said Mick Smyer, the provost.

Smyer has been university provost since 2008. Bucknell owns the home on University Avenue.

The strike occurred at the peak of a driving rain, lightning and thunderstorm that neighbors described as violent, crackling and loud.

Smyer said he was home when the lightning hit. “I could immediately smell the fire,” he said as he stood outside his home in the rain at about 10 p.m. “I’m OK,” he said.

But the tree in front of his house isn’t. There is a split at the top of the trunk that runs for about 10 feet.

As firefighters examined the inside of the home for flames, everyone else took time to look up at the tree.

A couple who lived nearby said they heard a “crack” at about the time the tree was hit.

The full extent of the damage to the tree and the house was not known at deadline. Responding to the blaze were fire and rescue personnel from Lewisburg, Milton and Mifflinburg.

All this occurred near the end of an oppressively hot and humid day in the Valley when temperatures reached nearly 90 degrees.

But the worst is yet to come, said Mike Pigott, a meteorologist with AccuWeather, State College. Temperatures today should hit 90 with very high, extremely uncomfortable humidity.

“The real-feel temperature in the afternoon will be 97 degrees,” Pigott said. “And expect more thunderstorms into Thursday.”

1
Text Only
News
  • Cheerleading stars earn paid bid to Disney World competition

    WINFIELD — The Pennsylvania Elite Senior 5 all-star cheerleading squad’s floor routine doesn’t have a lot of what people might consider “cheering,” coach Brett Derr said.

    April 17, 2014

  • Snook suspension now a mystery

    MIDDLEBURG — Acting Midd-West Superintendent Daphne Snook is confused about what the school board is alleging she did that led to her suspension without pay, saying she hasn’t received anything in writing. “Nothing I have been told by the board in any way makes me believe that I violated district policy or the law,” Snook said by email Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Danville teacher strike starts today

    DANVILLE — Nearly four hours of negotiations could not prevent the first teacher strike at Danville in decades.

    April 17, 2014

  • Good Morning Central Susquehanna Valley

    Today is Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year. On April 17, 1964, Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock became the first woman to complete a solo airplane trip around the world, returning to Columbus, Ohio, after 29 1/2 days and 21 stopovers in her Cessna 180.

    April 17, 2014

  • Ruling on torture could save Miranda Barbour's life

    SUNBURY — An attorney for homicide suspect Miranda Barbour filed a motion Wednesday in Northumberland County Court asking a judge to rule that murder victim Troy LaFerrara was not tortured before being killed.

    April 16, 2014

  • Investigation: Weapon used in attack on county prison officers

    SUNBURY — A “homemade metal weapon” was used in the attack against three corrections officers at the Northumberland County Prison on Friday, according to prison officials.

    April 16, 2014

  • Milton woman charged with endangering child

    MILTON — A Milton mom faces two misdemeanors after investigators said her 1-year-old suffered first- and second-degree burns while in her care and she failed to seek medical attention.

    April 16, 2014

  • Sunbury man critically injured in SUV crash

    SUNBURY — A driver was injured Tuesday night when his SUV careened off Mile Hill Road and down a steep 20-foot embankment, knocking over trees until it crashed and twisted around a large tree trunk.

    April 16, 2014

  • SUN Home Health and Geisinger ink merger plan

    NORTHUMBERLAND — Geisinger Community Health Services and SUN Home Health and Hospice announced today the signing of a comprehensive integration agreement by which SUN Home Health & Hospice will become part of the Geisinger health system.

    April 16, 2014

  • College Board provides a glimpse of new SAT

    WASHINGTON — Anxious students — not to mention their parents — can get a heads-up for how the redesigned SAT might look in two years.

    April 16, 2014

The Daily Marquee
Poll

Are you among those who will be completing and mailing your tax forms today?

Yes
No - Already Filed
     View Results
Photo Galleries
The Valley

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.