Strong thunderstorms have rolled across much of Missouri today. In some places, more than four inches of rain have fallen.
In Columbia, battalion fire chief Garry Warren said lightning was the biggest problem for firefighters.
"Fourteen in total just on false alarms, but that’s to be expected," he said. "Typically when we have a lot of lightening strikes anything from a combination of electrical power surge to the vibrations from the proximity of lightening strike will cause an alarm to activate and typically they’re false, but we still go to make sure that they’re false."
Boone County Fire Protection District Division Chief Gale Blomenkamp said his crews investigated lightening strikes that caused power surges in several homes.
"They weren’t actual fires, they didn’t turn into structure fires, but we did find a lot of TV’s and computers that had been burned up by the electrical surge within the structure itself, no actual fire," he said. "But we do go investigate to the attic area, make sure we don’t have any smoke up there. We try to find where the lightening actually hit the residence and where it went to ground because that’s a pretty significant thing for the house to take at that point."
He said the best way to protect your electronics from a power surge is to just unplug them when a large storm is moving through.
Columbia Water and Light reported at the height of the power outages this morning, there were about 4,000 people without power. Most of them had power restored this afternoon.
Both Blomenkamp and Warren said things could have been much worse, with only one water rescue reported between the two agencies.
"Came in right around 10 o’clock in the Creasy Springs area, but to be honest with you we’re used to having a few more of those in particular around Blackfoot Road," Warren said. "We typically see quite a few there with people trying to get over the low water crossing and that coupled with the time of day for us could of have been potentially a lot worse than what it was. It was a morning commute folks trying to get to work, everybody’s trying to get to work on time so we were pretty fortunate."