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Lightning Strikes Washington Heights and Shocks Twitter

By Carla Zanoni | April 18, 2011 12:12pm

By Carla Zanoni

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — A fast-moving thunderstorm shook Upper Manhattan residents Sunday evening, with a powerful bolt striking at least one building and sending tremors through Twitter.

Witnesses near 621 West 188th Street, near Wadsworth Avenue, said they saw the sky suddenly illuminate with lightning, before hearing a powerful clap of thunder just after 9 p.m. that sent fist-sized boulders of rock cascading from the top of the six-story residential building.

"Thank God there weren't lots of people outside," said Jose Morales, 43, who lives around the corner on Wadsworth Avenue.

According to the Fire Department, the building was likely hit by lightning, shaking the building and causing damage to three façade colonnades.

The Department of Buildings recorded a complaint for the building, labeling it as structurally compromised on its website. There were no reported injuries.

A small clean up crew from the building gathered pieces of stonework from the façade and made plans to secure it from further damage.

Twitter was electrified from Washington Heights to Inwood immediately after the brief storm passed, which only yielded one very bright flash of lightning with what appeared to be a simultaneous clap of thunder.

"I thought that lightning was a cross between a gunshot, firecrackers and a first kiss," wrote Washington Heights Twitter user Lady Overlook. "Then the thunder scared the hell out of me."

But perhaps one Upper Manhattan resident Tweeted the mayhem best.

"ZAP," wrote Paul Belbusti. "#inwood."