Split Rock Lighthouse closing after lightning strike

Should reopen by late this week.
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 5:23 PM CDT
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TWO HARBORS, MN. (KBJR 6) -- Split Rock Lighthouse is closed after the facilities took a lightning strike Monday afternoon.

Lightning struck a tree near the parking lot.

The lighthouse site manager tells us the electricity then went from a nearby light pole to the visitor center, and fried some of the building’s internal systems.

The strike was also frightening for the people who were there at the time.

“Basically it sounded like a gunshot going off,” said Split Rock Site Manager Hayes Scriven. “It was so loud and it was intense, you could feel the shaking even where I was in the house and where the staff was in the visitor center, they could feel it too.”

The visitor center and historic site will be closed for at least the next couple days for assessment and repairs, with a goal of being open again by the weekend.

Split Rock Lighthouse is one of the most photographed and visited spots in the state.

The lighthouse was built by the United States Lighthouse Service in 1910, and has 1000 watts of power.

The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1969, the lantern is still in operational condition and is lit each November 10 during the Edmund Fitzgerald Beacon Lighting Ceremony.

Split Rock Lighthouse is a Minnesota Historical Society site and now operated by the group.

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