Lightning or not: Strange burn mark on Geneva sidewalk raises eyebrows

Weather Blog

GENEVA, N.Y. (WROC) — A 15-foot long mark across the middle of a sidewalk recently popped up in Geneva, making some wonder exactly how it got there.

Crystal Masi reached out to News 8 to see what this “burn” was in the sidewalk along Rt. 5 & 20. The mark has deep cuts within it and melted concrete that branch out in all directions.

The main line through the center of the sidewalk is completely straight. Other parts of the burn move out horizontally from this center piece.

The initial thought was a lightning strike. Similar marks have appeared on cement and sidewalks in other regions that have had lightning strikes, that that usually occurs if a tree is struck nearby. Here, the mark was completely surrounded by sidewalk with only a few small trees over 30 feet away.

Right nearby the mark is a Bank of the Finger Lakes. The teller and a few of the bankers were able to solve the mystery. One of the powerlines had fallen one week earlier on Wednesday, March 24. Photographs of the incident were sent to News 8.

The hot wires had fallen and burned into the sidewalk, creating this effect. A warm front with scattered rain showers passed by on the 24th, but there were no significant gusts of wind. The failing electric pole was likely due to rot from old age. A new pole now stands as a replacement.

Photo courtesy Kyle Ackart

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