>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

La Grande Observer print edition

view all La Grande Observer print publications »

La Grande Observer Daily Paper 07/25/14

The LaGrande Observer is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

View Paper

If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access.

Subscribe


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow LIGHTNING GIVES ENTERPRISE A SHOCK

LIGHTNING GIVES ENTERPRISE A SHOCK

Todd Steele of Courtney Motors shows the tire changer he was working on when the lightning blast blew him to the wall. (Observer photos/GARY FLETCHER).
Todd Steele of Courtney Motors shows the tire changer he was working on when the lightning blast blew him to the wall. (Observer photos/GARY FLETCHER).

By Gary Fletcher

Observer Staff Writer

ENTERPRISE A blast described as the loudest and scariest thing ever heard sent people to the deck Thursday in Enterprise.

Incoming! a veteran yelled as he dropped to the carpet in the Amoco Mountain Mart.

It darned near put me to the floor too, said Don Swart Jr, the cashier. I never heard anything that loud. Swart, who once photographed a 100-pound dynamite blast, said That didnt even begin to compare to what I heard Thursday.

Todd Steel was working in Courtney Motors detail shop when suddenly a loud explosion hurled him against the wall. It sounded like dynamite, like someone dropped a bomb in the alley there, he said. He would later learn it was a direct hit.

Lets stay put, Steel said to Mike Wergen, who had also been tossed by the blast.

After some 10 seconds, they crept to the open shop door and looked out and saw that 150 feet southeast, the top of Wergens Liquid Gas Co.s 75-foot two-way radio antennae was glowing red, with sparks jumping all over the alley pavement below.

It was one of several lightning strikes in and around Enterprise witnessed by residents. About 6:30 p.m. the storm put the lights out for some 800 people in Wallowa Lake, Joseph and parts of Enterprise. Power was restored by 7:55 p.m.

However, businesses in the block around the antennae strike are still without electronics such as computers, phones and faxes fried in the blast.

One business owner thought that it would be at least Tuesday before systems would be functional. He estimates his and his neighbors losses at more than $25,000.

The same area was struck by lightning before. It was about the late 1980s, Steel thought. He experienced that one too, but Thursdays was much scarier, he said.

Thursday, Wergens Liquid Gas Co. was dark and silent at the base of the charred-looking antennae.

When he reset the breaker, smoke came boiling out of the fax machine. Wergen took it outside. The answering machine was also hot, so it was unplugged. In spite of surge suppressors all three computers went down, along with a 110-watt two-way radio.

In the nearby Amoco, the fuel dispensers card-reading electronics were knocked out, $200 of fluorescent light tubes burned out and the microwave oven was cooked.

Maye Surber saw sparks shooting out of the light fixture in her apartment below Mayes Cafe. Shes considering adding blackened Cajun-fried steak to her menu.

 
blog comments powered by Disqus
News
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Opinion
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Features
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
Classifieds
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

LaGrandeObserver.com works best with the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Apple Safari

venta de cialis viagra dyrt levitra indien viagra rezept bekommen viagra internet cialis rezeptfrei forum cialis generika wirkung viagra 50 mg preis viagra super force levitra 5 mg prezzo acheter du viagra pas cher cialis generika kaufen cialis comprar online cialis comprare viagra su internet viagra des indes potenzmittel levitra kaufen viagra online versand precio viagra en farmacia espaƱa viagra ricetta ripetibile pille viagra viagra holland viagra indiano cheeps generico viagra viagra prezzi in farmacia cialis rotterdam precio cialis 5 mg viagra pharmacie andorre viagra generika online kaufen tadalafil argentina