WESTERLY, R.I. (WJAR) — A man told NBC 10 News he was hurt by a lightning strike in Westerly during Tuesday’s thunderstorm.
Erik Clement, who is a manager at the Sea Shell Motel on Winnapaug Road, said he “saw the brightest flash and loudest bang” while he was standing outside the motel near a pond around 2:45 p.m.
He said he was resting a hand on a doorknob when he felt extreme pain in his arm.
“I felt it go into my left arm,” he said. “(It) felt worse than any shock I have ever had.”
By 5 p.m., Clement said his arm was numb and stilling tingling “like pins and needles.”
Clement also sent NBC 10 a seven second video, which he was recording when he was injured. Footage shows trees and shrubbery being whipped by heavy rain and wind before a big flash appears.
He then starts screaming, “Oh, oh, oh!” and loses control of the camera.
Clement said police and fire responded to the scene and evaluated him “despite being scared beyond belief.” He said authorities told him a lightning rod hit the pond, with the electricity traveling to where he was standing.
“They said the lightning strike probably came through the pond to the door and then zapped me like that,” he said.
Clement said he still has a headache, but is grateful he wasn’t seriously harmed.
“I am OK,” he said. “I prayed with my rosary and thanked God I’m alive.”
Some other nearby businesses along Winnapaug Road lost power due to the storm, but electricity has since been restored.
(NBC 10's Sam Read contributed to this report.)