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Lightning sinks boat, damages two houses, knocks down rock wall

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 10:10 p.m. HST, Mar 6, 2012

Lightning strikes on Oahu sank a boat, damaged two houses and knocked down part of a rock wall Monday night, officials and residents said.

The owner of the 36-foot catamaran Eunike said lightning struck one of its hulls as it was moored in Keehi Lagoon Boat Harbor near the La Mariana Sailing Club.

Deborah Ward, spokeswoman for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, said the boat owner was not injured but was unsuccessful in trying to scoop water to keep the boat from sinking.

Ward said he was in touch with his insurance company about what to do next.

A lightning bolt hit Sweetie Pacarro's house as she watched the storm from her window Monday night in Kunia.

The strike created what sounded like a large explosion, knocked out her power, and shook loose a light fixture and a smoke detector from the ceiling. Pacarro smelled smoke and ran out into the rain barefoot and in her pajamas to check if her house was on fire, then learned that her house was hit from her neighbor, who had witnessed the incident.

Meanwhile, lightning apparently also brought down a large chunk of a rock wall that separates two homes on Leiole Street in Makakilo late Monday.

About 15 to 20 feet of the wall collapsed following the lightning strike shortly after 11 p.m. Monday, leaving rocks, concrete and other debris on the Douglas family's property. The branches of a durian fruit tree got pushed into the roof of the Douglas house.

Darryl Douglas said he had a washing machine and stove going and didn't hear the connection, but did see a bright flash that reflected off the walls inside of his house. His brother, Darren, heard the lightning strike from his room and the two walked to the side of the house where the wall section came down.

Darryl Douglas said he's spoken briefly to his neighbors. "Were just going to have a joint cleanup and figure it out after that," he said.

In Waipahu, lightning struck a home on Kaiamu Street at 10:55 p.m. Monday.

There was no fire and only minor damage to the wooden structure, said Honolulu fire Capt. Terry Seelig. No one was injured.

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