The Ottumwa Courier

October 4, 2013

Lightning fries Honey Creek Resort

By JOSH VARDAMAN
Courier staff writer

---- — MORAVIA — The old saying that lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice will be taken quite literally at the Honey Creek Resort in Moravia, at least for a little while.

During the storm that passed through southeast Iowa Thursday morning, the main area of the lodge at Honey Creek was struck by a bolt of lightning. The jolt was enough to provide a little more alertness in the sleepy employees just before 10 a.m., but, thankfully, no one was injured and the damage was minimal.

The best guess by General Manager Andy Woodrick was that the bolt struck the main chimney of the lodge. He said there was no structural damage to the building, but the lightning “made havoc of the network wires.”

Several of the electrical systems went on the fritz for the rest of Thursday and into the morning hours on Friday, but getting everything turned back on and functional was set to be completed late Friday or early this morning.

“There was great response from everyone that provides services to the resort,” Woodrick said.

The lightning bolt caught everyone at the lodge by surprise when it struck, and it “was like someone shot a cannon off inside,” according to Woodrick.

“There was an absolutely blinding light and a huge boom at the same time,” he said. “It was kind of amazing.”

Even employees of the resort who are stationed in buildings next to the main lodge felt the effects. According to resort naturalist Jacob Ahee, “I'm actually in a separate building from the one that got hit, but it shook us even next door!”

— To see reporter Josh Vardaman's Twitter feed, go to @CourierJosh