The bright flash in the sky and accompanying crash of thunder shortly thereafter just before 8 p.m. Wednesday night startled Maplewood Street resident John Knudsen.
But only for a second.
“My initial thought was, ‘Boy, that was close!’ ” he said. “But I didn’t think much about it.”
That is, until he stepped out onto his porch to read the Hastings Tribune about 20 minutes later and noticed a crowd milling across the street in the Chateau Imperial Apartments on Park Lane Drive.
That’s when he noticed the splintered tree and realized it had been struck by lightning just minutes earlier.
No one was reportedly injured in the strike, but the force of it shattered several apartment windows and the tree it struck.