NANAIMO -- Residents of the Alberni Valley on Vancouver Island witnessed a significant thunder and lighting storm Sunday evening, which included lightning strikes that landed in peoples’ backyards.

“I mean it rains here, but we don’t see thunder and lightning like that ever,” said Port Alberni resident Leanne Ruissen.

Ruissen was outside her home videotaping the torrential downpour that was drenching her street when all of a sudden a bolt of lightning struck a tree behind her neighbour’s home across the street.

“There was this massive explosion of lightning and it literally threw me back in the house. I swear I could feel it in my chest,” said Ruissen.

She says that the lightning strike blew the soffits off of one of her neighbour’s homes and sent another neighbour’s pictures that were hanging on a wall flying across the room.

Chris Alemany of has been monitoring weather in the valley for over a decade and says over 16 millimetres of rain fell in a roughly 15-minute period.

“It’s more then my weather station has ever recorded in such a short period of time,” said Alemany.

According to, thunder and lightning storms do happen in the valley. But, the one that rumbled on Sunday was rare.

“We get them maybe once a year but they’re not usually that intense. That sort of thing happens every few years,” said Alemany.

Other videos posted to social media showed additional lightning strikes and the considerable rainfall.