It was the storm of the summer, and Tri-Cities residents got a front-row seat to the light show.
By Wednesday morning, the lightning storm that rolled through the Lower Mainland the previous evening still had some residents without power, and left one Coquitlam man with a story to tell.
Coquitlam resident Armand Shafazand, 52, was hit by lightning Tuesday evening. The following day he spoke to the Vancouver Sun.
He said he was hit in his backyard as he was putting a plywood cover on a rabbit hutch to protect it from the rain.
With his left hand on the metal wire of the cage when it was struck, Shafazand felt the bolt of lightning travel through his hand and into the ground through his right foot.
"It felt like a thousand punches fell right on top of my head, like I jumped a hundred feet and landed on my feet," he said.
While the incident lasted only a split second, it terrified his wife, who was watching through the window, and left his four children screaming in fear.
He was feeling better by the time the ambulance arrived, but was held for observation.
Released at 7 a.m. Wednesday, he went home to rest for a few hours, and then went to his job as a general contractor.
Shafazand said he's a tough guy.
"I'm still alive and I'm lucky," he said. "No bruises, no burn marks, no nothing."
But his hand and foot still ache.
"It was so painful I wouldn't wish it for my enemy. I can take pain, but this I couldn't bear."
He was one of two Metro Vancouver men hit by lightning during the storm; a second person from Surrey was also hit.
At its peak, the storm left 38,000 homes without power, including several thousand in the Tri-Cities area.
Despite the outage, residents in the Tri-Cities are less likely to see their power go out than people living in the rest of the province.
According to BC Hydro, the average customer in the Coquitlam region, which includes Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Belcarra, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge and New Westminster, experienced one outage in fiscal 2012, and a little more than one in fiscal 2011.
A greater breakdown shows the average customer in the Coquitlam district experienced 0.95 outages in 2012.
In contrast, the average urban district experienced 1.18 power outages in the year, while the provincial average was 1.92.
In 2011, the number of outages in the Coquitlam district for an average customer was 1.57, which was slightly higher than the urban aver-age of 1.26, but still below the provincial average of 1.89.
Going back to 2010, the number of outages in the Coquitlam district for an average customer hit 1.36, which was also slightly higher than the urban average of 1.09, but less than the provincial average of 1.71.