Bill and Pat Naylor had just settled back into bed after calming down their nervous dog when it happened.
“There was a big boom, and then it went boom again,” Pat said.
The Naylors figure the first boom was a lightning bolt striking the large cypress in their yard in northwest Wichita early Wednesday morning, and the second was the large branches hitting the ground.
“It blew both sides out of it,” Naylor said.
Valley Center storm chaser Brandon Ivey shot photos of the frequent lightning, which knocked power out at his house for a while overnight.
“I saw three separate bolts produce power flashes due to blown transformers,” Ivey said.
Westar Energy reported more than 4,000 customers were without electricity at one point during the storm.
The Naylors hope they can save their cypress, which is perhaps 30 years old. An arborist was scheduled to check the tree Wednesday afternoon.
The rain gauge at the Naylor house northwest of 13th and Tyler recorded more than 5 inches of rain, though Pat admits some of that may have been “splash” off the roof and not an accurate measure of the rainfall. But National Weather Service officials say it’s likely that more than 4 inches fell in isolated spots in the city, and reports of 3 inches were widespread.