Woman survives lightning strike in Berkeley


Shockingly, a Bay Area woman found herself relatively unharmed after she believes she was struck by lightning in Berkeley Monday afternoon.

According to Berkeleyside, Emily Davis, 31, was standing on the corner of Adeline and Stewart Streets, umbrella in hand, at about 1 p.m. She initially heard an enormous clap of thunder and then realized she’d been struck by lightning after noticing a “terrible metallic taste” in her mouth.

Davis explained to Berkleyside:

“Then I saw an orb of light travel down the umbrella handle I was holding in my right hand. Thankfully I was holding the plastic end of the umbrella, or else I would’ve been in big trouble.”

Her heart started racing and her left arm began to shake uncontrollably causing her to discard her coffee.

The metallic taste in Davis’ mouth would not subside, as her boyfriend said she tasted strongly of metal when he kissed her, after driving her home hours later. Davis still says the taste of metal has not left her mouth.

The National Weather Service lists “metallic taste in your mouth” as one of the warning signs of lightning before it strikes. 

According to the NWS, around 15 percent of lightning strikes on people result in death. Davis knows how fortunate she is:

“I could have been burned, or my heart could have stopped. I’m feeling so lucky.” 

Davis is originally from Missouri, after moving to the Bay Area seven years ago. Davis told Berkeleyside she was amused by the irony of being struck in the Bay Area as opposed to her home state, a hotbed for thunderstorms.

The story got even more bizarre when Davis called her father after the incident. While the odds of being struck by lightning at somewhere between 1 in 500,000 and 1 in 750,000, Davis learned that it is a relatively common occurrence in her family:

“He told me that my great great great grandfather was struck and killed by lightning while sitting on a horse.”

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