Human Interest

In yet another monsoon shocker, a local man’s home was struck by lightning.

Kelli Klymenko, marketing director at the Sedona Arts Center, said his Village of Oak Creek home was struck sometime around 1:30 p.m. on July 20. There were no injuries and no fire, but Klymenko did lose a significant amount of electronics during the strike.

“Ironically, I captured a slow-motion video of the storm at the arts center at the same time,” Klymenko said.

Klymenko’s writing has been featured recently in Larson Newspapers’ entertainment tabloid, The Scene, as he profiled visiting artists and the electricity that surrounds them.

He’s also an avid photographer and teaches classes on the subject at the SAC, including how to capture lightning.

Klymenko said his three children were home when the lightning struck and though not literally, he said they were “shocked” when it happened.

“My son texted me that the whole house shook,” he said. His daughters were in the other room, playing guitar. They described to him the brightest flash and loudest thunder they had ever experienced, followed by loud pops as the surge ran through the house’s wiring.

While close to home isn’t quite enough to describe the strike, Klymenko was also experiencing his own close encounter. He said that while filming the storm, the strikes came down much closer than he expected, the closest he’s seen so far, forcing him to go indoors.

“I felt thunder through my whole body,” he said. “I didn’t feel safe.”

Klymenko had been inspired to shoot the storm after becoming an ambassador for a new piece of weather protection for his camera. He said he tends to put himself at risk getting those images, but he’ll be more cautious in the future. As far as his home goes, he said he doesn’t plan to rely on surge protectors but will instead look into a way to efficiently unplug in case of a fast-approaching storm.

To learn about the courses Klymenko teaches at the SAC, check out its website or call 282-3809. Check out Klymenko’s photography, as well as the video from the storm, at


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