In 1999 the Science department at NASA conducted a study on lightning, ground voltage, and structural impact. A building in North Carolina, located within 45 meters of a 42-meter water tower was used in the study. Within a 5-month period, five separate lightning discharges occurred in the area.
While the building itself was never directly struck, it did absorb a high degree of the ground voltage that was discharged from the near-by strikes. The result was “deaths of two trees, a fire in electrical equipment, complete destruction of all phone wiring, and severe damage to electrical fixtures.” (NASA, Science Dept, “Human Voltage”, June 18, 1999)