by Lisa Sorg
Update: Tuesday, July 24: Weaver Street officials say the tree expert was hopeful; he painted on some pesticide to stop insects getting in the tree's wounds.
Update, Friday at 4:15 p.m.: A Carr Mill Mall representative is having a tree expert assess the damage. There isn't a full report yet, but check the Triangulator blog next week for details.
Shortly before 6:30 p.m. Thursday, lightning struck an oak tree on the east side of the lawn at Weaver Street Market in Carrboro, stripping the bark from part of one side. Wood chips flew about 20 feet and hit the front window of the market, a cashier said.
After an epic drive from Durham during the storm, I pulled into the Carr Mill parking lot about three minutes after the strike.
A woman in Carr Mill was holding bark from the tree; she told me the "sky lit up, the thunder sounded like a sonic boom and wood flew everywhere."
People gathered around the tree and took photos. A lawn regular, Bruce Thomas, is pictured here leaning against it.
He later embraced it and said, "I love you tree."