Lightning Strikes Country Store, Underground Fuel Tank Explodes

Lightning Damage 2Lightning Damage 1Six vehicle were damaged, two of them destroyed, after lightning struck the parking lot of Mill Creek Country Store and Cafe Friday night.

During an intense thunderstorm that moved through southern Johnston County, lightning struck the parking lot of the business at 873 Strickland’s Crossroads Road, outside of Four Oaks.

Kevin Hubbard, Johnston County Fire Marshal, told WTSB News cloud to ground lightning struck the top of an abandoned gas tank for the business under the concrete parking area.  Although the tank had been emptied out more than a year ago, the tank still contained vapors. The lightning strike caused the tank to rupture and explode, sending large pieces of 12 inch thick concrete into the air and onto vehicles in the parking lot.

Several people were at the business at the time. Miraculously, no injuries were reported.

Lightning Damage 3Lightning Damage 4