A New Jersey teacher is recovering at home after being struck by lightning during the rare weather phenomenon known as thundersnow at the height of Wednesday's nor'easter.
Manchester Middle School 8th grade teacher Jessica Geiger was outside on bus duty as the school prepared for dismissal around 2:30 p.m. Suddenly, lightning struck the umbrella she was holding, Manchester Township police and school officials said.
Geiger was standing on the sidewalk in front of the school with other staff members when the strike occurred.
"The staff members in the vicinity were also shaken, however they helped [Geiger] inside the building and the nurse was able to attend to her," Manchester Schools superintendent David Trethaway said in a letter to NBC10.
"She was transported to the hospital where she did undergo some tests and remained overnight for observation."
Geiger was shaken and in pain but conscious throughout the ordeal, Trethaway said.
She was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and was home resting Thursday, according to Trethaway.
He praised the actions of staff members who divided up to tend to Geiger while also ensuring the safety of students.
On Thursday, several of them wrote cards expressing good wishes to their teacher.
"[Geiger] is an excellent teacher who is well respected and loved by the staff and students and we are all very happy that she is going to have a full recovery," Trethaway said.
There were reports of thundersnow in Manchester Township around the same time the lightning struck, NBC10 First Alert Weather chief meteorologist Tammie Souza said. There were more than 30 reports of lightning strikes across the region as a major March nor'easter battered towns in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware on Wednesday.
Tammie described thundersnow as a "thunderstorm in winter conditions."
"Instead of a quick burst of heavy rain that you would get, you get a quick burst of extremely heavy snow — maybe 2 or 3 inches an hour," she said. "You get the lightning, you get the thunder and you might get some gusty winds."