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Alice Springs woman feels 'blessed' after being struck by lightning during extreme thunderstorm

Thursday November 11, 2021 - 21:40 AEDT

Days after Alice Springs experienced its wettest 24 hour period in two decades, floodwaters have fast subsided and the skies cleared.


The usually bone-dry Todd River was flooded on Wednesday morning, creating a rare spectacle that caused traffic to stand still and a mammoth six-hour rescue operation to save a motorist trapped in the floodwaters. 


One woman will remember the town's record rain day for a different reason. 


Chloe Erlich said she was struck by lightning inside her hilltop home during the severe thunderstorm. 


"It was like a bomb went off. It almost felt like the house levitated a few inches off the ground, but it was the biggest, loudest explosion I've ever felt in my life," she said. 


"I felt that there was a massive explosion in my heart, or in my chest as well ... so when it happened, the force threw me to the ground.


"It felt like my whole body was on fire. Just a complete surge of energy."


Ms Erlich's son, Bradley, saw the lightning strike the front of the house, just metres from where he was standing.


"I heard a huge bang and I saw this big, bright, blue strip come through the top of the (tin) ceiling in the driveway," he said. 


"I jumped as high as I could and then sprinted as fast as I could, legged it inside and threw myself on the couch." 


"It felt like I got burnt by something."


Told to buy a lottery ticket


Ms Erlich said she called for an ambulance and was taken to the Alice Springs Hospital with a throbbing headache and pain all over her body. 


"All the nurses kept coming past telling me to buy a lottery ticket," she said.


"The nurse said, 'we've never had a lightning strike before; we're not 100-per-cent sure what to do with you.'"


Back at home the next day she said she still felt "tingly".


"It feels like I've got a current going through me. I feel really tired, but I also feel like I've run a marathon; my body's really sore. And I've got a big, huge headache."


"I woke up and went 'wow, we got hit by lightning yesterday and we're still here.' So, in a sense, I do feel a bit blessed because it could've gone the other way. It could have gone pear-shaped." 


"I'm wondering about a superpower."







- ABC

© ABC 2021

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