Bay Area woman hit by lightning left with sore teeth, metallic taste


A Bay Area woman struck by lightning during a rainstorm Monday has apparently escaped serious injury, with her only side effects being sore teeth and a metallic taste in her mouth.

Emily Davis, 31, was crossing Adeline Street in Berkeley when the lightning struck. After hearing the rumble of thunder, she mistook the bolt that hit her umbrella — before coursing through to her arm — for a camera flash.

She told NBC Bay Area that her hands started shaking uncontrollably, so much so that she threw down her hot cup of coffee.


“I couldn’t control it for five minutes,” she said.

Davis, who has since been checked out by a healthcare provider, has scheduled an EKG for later in the week to check her heart, local media reported. But so far, the aftereffects appear to be limited to her mouth, she said.

The chances of being struck by lightning in a given year is 1 in 500,000, according to the National Weather Service. About 60 deaths are reported related to lightning strikes in addition to 340 injuries.

Lightning, though, apparently strikes twice in Davis’ family. She told NBC that her great-great-great-grandfather died after lightning hit him while sitting on a horse in Missouri.

Also on Monday, five airline pilots reported that their planes were struck by lightning as rain fell in the Bay Area, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said.

None of the pilots reported damage or requested special assistance.

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