Explosion? Earthquake? No, just thunder.

On most Mother’s Days, my primary concern usually is about whether I’ve called my parents. It usually is not about what kind of dangerous event may have just happened outside as I’m getting ready for bed.

This past Sunday, I already had phoned home and spoken to Mom when I was brushing my teeth a few minutes before 11 p.m. As I stood in front of the sink, something happened. I wasn’t sure, but I thought there had been a bright flash and was fairly positive it had come from outside (it was late). Lightning? Maybe. It also could have been a flash when someone flips a light switch and the bulb filament flames and breaks, but my wife was already in bed asleep and I hadn’t flipped anything.

A few seconds later, I got my answer. The rumble built quickly and wasn’t alarming at first, given the flash that I was pretty sure I had just seen. But the sound kept coming and crescendoed by rattling the crap out of the aluminum frame of the bathroom’s storm window, and most everything around it. “Geez,” I thought. “Some clap of thunder.”

Others weren’t so sure. My wife, who hadn’t seen the flash, called from the bedroom and asked if something in the neighborhood had exploded. I didn’t think so, but I got out my police scanner and turned it on to be sure. It was quiet.

She wasn’t the only one who thought it might be something else. A friend sent me a message on Facebook that night, asking if maybe there had been an earthquake. Another friend posted on Facebook that it sounded like the end of the world. It was “the loudest, sustained, peal of thunder I have ever heard,” he wrote. “The whole house was shaking, every bit of it,” he wrote.

In Bar Harbor, the thunder prompted a phone call to the police station at 10:56 p.m. The caller reported seeing bright lights and a possible explosion of some sort in Hulls Cove. An officer went to investigate and was unable to determine where it had occurred but indicated in a report that electrical power in the area seemed to be undisturbed.

“It appears to be lightning,” the officer concluded. “All set.”

Bill Trotter

About Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for 20 years, Bill Trotter keeps track of how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coast shape the lives, lifestyles and livelihoods of coastal Maine residents and visitors. A resident of Ellsworth, Bill covers Acadia National Park, Hancock County, fisheries, marine-related topics and more for the BDN. Follow him on Twitter at @billtrotter.