PAULDING COUNTY, Ga - Kroger officials are still trying to assess the damage after its fuel center on Ridge Road in Paulding County suffered a direct hit from a bolt of lightning Wednesday evening.
"No customers or associates were injured," said Kroger spokesperson Glynn Jenkins in a written statement. "We have a team on the scene to survey the extent of the damage. To ensure the safety of our customers, the fuel center will remain closed so it can be properly assessed, repaired and inspected by authorities."
The strike apparently hit the pavement just a few feet from one of the gas pumps and buckled not on the pavement but a large concrete slab. Paulding County fire officials said it appears the strike hit a sump pump in one of the underground fuel tanks and caused the vent cap to blow off. Firefighters said they found a manhole cover and other debris dozens of feet away.
Security cameras at the nearby Fiesta Azteca captured the moment the lightning struck at 7:34 p.m. One view shows stunned customers rushing to the window seconds after the strike to see what had happened.
Kroger officials hope to have the fuel center repaired and reopened as soon as they can.