GRIFFIN, GA  - Lightning was the headliner in Spalding County, just east of Griffin. Lines of storms blew through there Wednesday

.When the very first of the day’s storms blew through metro Atlanta, they kind of snuck up on some people.

Those people include a Spalding County man named Jim Murray, who was taking a chain saw to a tree that fell into his back yard late Wednesday morning.  The tree had been struck by lightning.  And the lightning strike was of such strength that it blew the top of the tree apart, sending several large chunks of pine tree trunk and branches hurtling to the ground and against Mr. Murray’s house.

There was "a little thunder, not much, then all of a sudden – blam!" Murray said.  "It just hit the tree and exploded. Really no warning at all. None."

It was a sneaky strike, agreed Murray's neighbor Selby Moody.  "From three houses down, it just blew us away. We thought our house had been hit."  He lives three doors away.

"My wife was running and yelling and screaming," Murray chuckled.  "And talking on the phone at the same time, and telling the people she wasn’t dead."

Murray says the fallen tree "poked a hole" in the roof of his house, but did little damage otherwise.