Lightning strikes orthodontist office on Tucson’s east side

Businesses affected by monsoon rain

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - One east-side business got to experience the raw power of mother nature’s monsoon storms firsthand.

Wednesday afternoon, July 31, was business as usual for employees of Leber Orthodontics as monsoon storms began rolling in.

“This was after school, so around three, a lot of kids here,” says Eric Leber, orthodontist and owner of Leber Orthodontics on Tucson’s east-side.

It had only been raining for mere minutes when a bolt of lightning struck the building.

“All of a sudden I heard the loudest boom I’ve ever heard in my life,” Leber said. It was like a cannon had been fired off right in the office."

“It was super bright,” said Cristal Olivas, an orthodontic dental technician. “Pretty cool, it was just right between the tree and the window,” she said, pointing to a tree outside the office.

A staff member was leaning against a metal window watching the rain and felt the electricity run through her.

“She felt it right on her arm,” Olivas said. “The computers went out. At first we were scared for her, hoping she was OK. We quickly made sure she was all right.”

Leber says the lightning took out their internet box and equipment, charring it black.

"Every bit of it is supposed to be light tan and it was all black."

Technicians were at the business for hours after they closed fixing the issue.

The incident is a shocking reminder of the power of the monsoon.

“Nature is cool, but you have to respect it,” Olivas said. “It was pretty amazing.”

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