Wednesday evening the 16-year-old Madawaska High School junior was in the right place at the right time to capture a dramatic lightning strike hit the Grand Isle church steeple on video.

“In 2007 on my birthday it was hit by lighting, too,” Bouley said Thursday morning. “When I saw the conditions with the atmosphere were the same yesterday, I figured ‘why not try to record it [and] if it happens, it happens.”

It most certainly did happen.

Around 6 p.m., as a line of strong thunderstorms were passing through the St. John Valley, Bouley stood on his Grand Isle home’s front porch and aimed his cellphone’s camera toward the St. Gerard Catholic Church steeple.

Seconds later a bright streak of lightning can be seen hitting the building producing a fireball and accompanied by a massive crack of thunder.

“As soon as I pointed the camera to the ground and back up, it happened,” Bouley said.

In the background Bouley’s father Bruce Bouley can be heard saying to contact the Grand Isle dispatch “because the church just got hit again.”

Both Bouleys are members of the Grand Isle Volunteer Fire Department and Carl Bouley said Thursday once the storm had moved out, firefighters went to check on the church.

“From what we can tell there was no damage,” Carl Bouley said. “We checked it with the thermal camera.”

He said his father was referring to the the 2007 Aug. 4 birthday strike when he referenced the steeple getting hit again.

No one was hurt when the lightning hit Wednesday, Carl Bouley said, but it did make an impact.

“It kind of scared me a bit,” he said. “It felt like a small shockwave hit.”

Since posting his video on Facebook Wednesday night it has been viewed more than 36,000 times as of 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

A YouTube video of the strike has been viewed more than 300 times and news outlets from around New England have contacted the young man looking for permission to use it.

“This is kind of different,” he said. “I’ve posted videos before, but none have ever blown up like this.”


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