Not long after I first started in the industry, I also saw lightening strike a creek outside the park lines, but only about 50 yards from several water attractions. It was definitely one of those times where you felt it in the hair, hair tingling, and the radio on my hip making some strange noises.
Between both of these experiences, I take lightening in the area very seriously.
It was back in the mid-'90s, just a year or so after The Raven wooden roller coaster premiered. Will Koch was back on the track, adjusting the on-ride camera shortly before opening.
It was one of those out-of-nowhere lightning strikes. The thunder was simultaneous. BOOM! Folks at the front gate hit the ground; it was that loud.
Right before the strike, Will was calling someone on the 2-way. I'm embarrassed to admit no one immediately thought to check on him. Oops.
Best we could tell later on, the strike hit a tree next to the track and traveled along the circuit, knocking Will to the ground.
I won't say he had smoke coming out of his ears, but he was a bit bruised and his 2-way was toast.
Once we knew Will was okay, the puns and teasing began (and continue to this day). His striking personality ... you get the picture.
Does Will now have super-human powers, since he was sort of struck by lightning? Well...we just set a new seasonal attendance record. In this economy, that news is a bit, um, electrifying. :0)
Paula WerneHoliday World