Tom Boland is feeling lucky today. The Swampscott college student has just a little pain in his knee after receiving a shock from a lightning bolt Thursday afternoon while shutting a door during a violent thunderstorm.
Boland, 18, a student at the University of Maine, says he was shutting a metal door after letting the dogs in at his family's home on Plymouth Avenue during the storm shortly before 6 p.m.
"That's one of the parts I remember -- the huge flash of lightning and the massive boom of the thunder," he said. "All I could do was yell and feel it going through my legs and my feet until it was over."
He was taken to the hospital and monitored for three hours or so after the incident, which happened shortly before 6 p.m. But then he was able to go home. He said he had no symptoms this morning except for a pain that comes and goes in his knee.
"It's really scary how you can't do anything, really," he said. "It's just this big thing that stuns you and you can't do anything to help yourself until it's over."
"I do feel really lucky. I'm lucky that I'm all right and everyone else is OK," he said.
Swampscott Fire Captain Kevin Thompson said Boland hadn't been hit by a lightning bolt, but had been shocked by one hitting nearby.
Thompson said houses on Bradley Avenue and Thomas Road were also damaged in the storm. "You couldn't see through the rain and the wind was whipping all over the place," he said.
The National Weather Service received reports of trees and wires down in Swampscott, as well as nearby communities like Lynn, Peabody, Saugus, and Danvers during the late afternoon storm. Other communities in Essex, Middlesex, and Worcester counties also saw damage.
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more