The traffic light at the North Loop and Clovis highway was just the tip of the iceberg. Over at Municipal Drive workers wrangled wire. A telephone pole, down for the count. Knocked out by mother nature.
But none of that compared to lightning's fury. Half way between Shallowater and New Deal, over 1,000 gallons of oil sparked by a single bolt. "When you have lightning strikes there's gas coming off the oil and it immediately ignites the oil - blows the top off and then the oil ignites. and the simplest thing to do is just let it burn down," said W. Medlock, Jr., the unfortunate owner of the burning oil tank battery.
Firefighters doused it with soapy water, but that only seemed to make it worse. The heat was so intense the camera saw nothing but white.
Between Levelland and Brownfield another oil tank battery succumbed to lighting. This time 337 barrels were ablaze. The fire raged for at least three hours.