Lightning strike blasts a small crater into Bothell driveway

Many people were shaken awake by the loud morning thunderstorms Friday, and in one Bothell neighborhood, the lightning was so powerful that one of the strikes blew a small crater into a driveway.  

"We've been here almost 50 years, but it's the first time we've ever heard it like that before," said Jerry Moorman. 

Jerry and Marilyn Moorman's home sits just a few feet from the spot where lightning struck with such force that it carved out a jagged hole in the asphalt. 

"Found a bunch of debris in the street," said Jerry.

Marilyn said some of the chunks of asphalt were smoldering after they were blown apart.  She said the storm announced itself long before it cratered the driveway next door. 

"We heard it from miles away," she said. "It just rumbled and rumbled and rolled and rolled."  

Jerry says some of the home's electronic equipment was damaged, including a laptop computer and modem, during the strike. 

"It was loud," said Jerry.  

"It was simultaneous, the thunder and the lightning, so we knew it was right here," said Marilyn.  

"It just shows why lightning is so dangerous. If it can do that to concrete, imagine what it can do to you," said FOX 13 Meteorologist Brian MacMillan. He says this spring is one for the record books when it comes to wild weather. 

"This May was the wettest may that we’ve had in 74 years. So, this was a really unusual end of spring for the Seattle area," said MacMillan.  "Now we are getting into June and, most of the time, when we have a wet and pretty cold May, we have a wet and cold June as well. Unfortunately, this might stick around for a while." 

"We are on the edge of the conversion zone, so we do get some wild weather compared to the rest of the area," said Jerry.  

The Moormans say despite having seen some things in their five decades living in the neighborhood, the lightning strike that tore up the driveway is a very memorable moment. 

The Moormans and another neighbor told us their water had also turned brown after the lightning strike. Marilyn said they were working to try to flush out the water system in their home Friday afternoon. 

The Washington Department of Transportation says the rainy weather has also put a damper on some of its construction projects. 

Lars Erickson, Senior Director of External Relations, gave us this list of WDOT projects that have been delayed or otherwise impacted by the weather. 

Seattle area:

  • Revive I-5 project southbound from I-90 to Spokane Street. Feel free to use this info any way you like. Because we had two rainouts in May and would have had one this weekend, our contractor crew has opted to bring in tents this weekend to work on expansion joints on SB I-5 near Spokane Street. We had some backup weekends built into the schedule but they’re pretty much accounted for now. Instead of postponing work this weekend, they’re getting tents and sandbags to keep the water out.

Olympic Peninsula:

  • Unfavorable weather in May prevented us from finishing paving on emergency repairs SR 112 at Jim Creek.

Olympia area:

  • The US 101/Delphi Rd to I-5 - Paving and Concrete Barrier project started later than expected mostly due to temps. We needed 45-degrees and rising overnight to pave - it was too cold. It's underway now.

Pierce County:

  • We had to cancel and reschedule striping on SB I-5 in Fife twice because of rain in May on the Southbound HOV project.
  • The SR 167 - SR 410 to SR 18 NB Congestion Management had a lot of canceled work in May from rain, including pavement repairs at 15th Street Southwest in Auburn. Crews have had to delay paving on the SR 167 HOV completion project this coming weekend due to weather.

Okanogan County:

  • US 97 chip seal project south of Pateros due to cooler temperatures. The ambient temperatures need to be 60 degrees and rising for the rock to adhere to the oil and for the oil to cure properly. The window for 60-degree temperatures was very small and did not allow for a productive day. We suspended work on Tuesday 5/17/22 and are awaiting the temperatures to get consistently warmer.

When it comes to building construction, we checked in with Monty Anderson, Executive Secretary of the Seattle Building Trades. He says,"We don’t let it slow us down. It’s just a little more engineering and a little more work."