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Lightning strikes twice at woman's home

Posted at 12:01 AM, Jun 30, 2018

A Palm Beach County woman is fighting to remove two trees off of her property after they were struck twice by lightning, but removing them might not be as easy as she thought.

When the clouds darken and thunder claps that's when Tara Dutch starts to worry.

"That storm that rolled through I mean I'm looking out my window hoping that they don't come down," she said. 

Dutch is talking about two large trees that stand on the side of her house.

"Is it going to fall on somebody is it going to fall on my vehicles, what's next," she said. 

Dutch told WPTV within the last few months both trees have been struck by lightning. She says the latest strike happened, Thursday. 

"I just heard a big crack and I just went running because I didn't know what was going to happen," she said. 

The result? A burnt tree and a branch nearly peeled in half. 

"I'm surprised the limb didn't fall," a neighbor said. 

Now, Dutch wants to cut the trees down. But she says she's been told it's not that simple.

"I have to remove the stumps, sod the lawn and the county is telling me that I have to replace them with five trees that are equivalent to these two big trees," Dutch said. 

Work Dutch says will cost around $10,000, money she says she never expected to pay after spending $4,000 to trim the trees prior to the strikes.

"I just felt like I was being put into a corner I don't even know what to do," she said.

The Director of Palm Beach County Code Enforcement told WPTV they are looking into the matter and when a tree is damaged by lightning or a force of nature they will work with the homeowners to get the tree replaced.