Lightning hits Laveen woman's camper days after storm floods home

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

LAVEEN, Ariz. -- Monsoon disaster struck a Valley woman twice in just over a week, first flooding and then lightning.

Judy Mercado said she had just gotten home from work last Thursday and had settled into the travel trailer she is living in because her home was severely damaged in flash flooding earlier in the month when lightning struck.

"All of a sudden the camper shook like crazy and I saw this bright light and this loud boom and I jumped up and I screamed," Mercado said.

She wasn't injured but when she went outside, part of the camper trailer siding had melted.

"I don't think most people would have believed us to be in the middle of a flood in Arizona and then getting struck by lightning," Mercado said. "What are the chances?"

Just eight days earlier, she and her boyfriend's home, which they had just spent two years remodeling, was flooded when Laveen got more than 3 inches of rain.

"Everything is just not in a good place," Mercado said. "We're trying to be positive, but it's difficult."

Their house is no longer livable so they've had to move into their camper trailer while they try to figure out how to rebuild.

"Even eating has become difficult because we don't have a sink to do any dishes, we don't have a working stove at the moment," she said.

Mercado spent the weekend at the new information center for flood victims set up at Fire Station 57 because their insurance won't cover the damage.

"If the rain came through the roof everything would be covered, but since it came from a rainstorm and it came through the walls it's not covered," she explained.

While they try to figure out how they will rebuild, a site has raised more than $1,000 for the couple.

Mercado is trying to make sense of being struck twice by the monsoon's fury.

"Either I'm blessed or I'm in trouble, but I'm going with the blessed part because we're still here," she said.

Mercado said she plans on getting a tattoo of a lightning bolt to commemorate surviving #Monsoon2014.