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National Weather Service's Chicago Headquarters Struck By Lightning

By Kyla Gardner | August 31, 2013 4:56pm
 Heavy rains gave way to bright sky Friday night in Chicago.
Storm Photos
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CHICAGO — The meteorologists at the National Weather Service's Chicago headquarters didn't have to look far for Saturday afternoon's weather — it came to them.

The suburban Romeoville building was struck by lightning just after noon, said NWS meteorologist Charles Mott.

"There was a pop. We all jumped," Mott said. "We weren’t sure what that pop was."

The storm quickly moved through the area, but the office is still left with an unworking phone system and weather radar. Information from the weather service can still be found online or on Facebook.

As for the adage that lightning can't strike the same place twice: It's not true, Mott said.

"This is the not the first time" the headquarters has been struck by lightning, Mott said. "Our office is as susceptible as any other place is. We can't move it just because a storm’s coming. We just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."

No one was injured, and it is unknown when normal operations will be restored, Mott said.

Heavy storms hit Chicago Friday night, and high winds brought down tree branches. More storms were expected Saturday and Sunday, but meteorologists within the city don't need to worry the Romeoville storm is headed for them.

"The storm's already gone," Mott said. "It went well south of Downtown."