New York City's five-day heat wave finally gave way to a spectacular thunderstorm on Wednesday night, soaking the city with torrential rain, 50 mph wind gusts, and bountiful bursts of lightning.
The sky cracked open around 6 p.m., darkening suddenly as deep purple lightning ricocheted across the five boroughs — one bolt of which struck very close to the Statue of Liberty. (Our national freedom symbol stood tall, despite the harrowing onslaught, if you're into metaphors).
PIX11 reports that two people may have been struck by lightning in a Queens park on Wednesday. Firefighters also put out a blaze at the Spirit & Truth Christian, believed to be started after lightning struck the church's steeple.
No one was hurt inside the church, officials said.
The lightning rod atop the World Trade Center took several bolts on the chin, as did much of the rest of the Manhattan skyline and also the Hudson River. Nearby, drenched protesters marched against police brutality.
Over in Brooklyn, reporters who got caught in the storm on their way to the protest watched the action from outside BAM and worried about their vegetable plants at home (they were fine).
The downpour also brought warnings of flash floods, though most of it seemed concentrated in New Jersey.
The severe weather will apparently continue on Thursday, with more "steamy storms" expected in the afternoon and evening. Gird thyself, and remember to hold your phone horizontally and send lightning videos to firstname.lastname@example.org.