Lightning hits World Trade Center in striking video and photos

Eric Pfeiffer
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Lightning repeatedly struck the 1 World Trade Center tower in an epic display Friday night as a heavy rainstorm passed over New York City.

The dramatic strikes were captured by a number of photographers and videographers — including a few lucky amateurs who just happened to have their cameras trained on the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere.

Photographer Gary Hershorn captured what are arguably the most detailed photos of the lightning in the exact moment it hit the building’s top spire. In an interview with Time magazine he explained how he got the incredible shot:

“I saw the storm clouds forming while I was shooting some pictures of lower Manhattan from Jersey City right across from One World Trade Center. I was shooting with a point and shoot camera so I raced home and grabbed my real camera and tripod and went to a gazebo next to the Hudson River and shot endless 10 second exposures hoping to catch the bolts of lightning. I shot about 150 pictures, and 6 frames had lightning bolts. I missed about 5 others in between frames. I was able to shoot from a covered spot in the pouring rain. It feels like I spend half my life shooting the New York skyline but have been waiting for years to have the perfect electrical storm around sunset. … the light in the sky was nicely balanced with the lightning and the brightness of the buildings on the skyline.”

But Hershorn wasn’t the only person in New York City that night who captured imagery of the lightning strike.

Justin Sindone managed to take some video of both lightning strikes which he posted to his YouTube page. Sindone said he captured the video on his iPhone, which resulted in some obvious glare as the phone’s camera tried to adjust to the sudden surge of light:

CBS New York reports that in addition to the 1 World Trade Center lightning strikes, Friday night’s storm caused flash floods in Jersey City and even caused hail in some areas.

Designer Brett Ruiz also captured this stunning photo of the lightning storm, which he posted to his Twitter account:


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