City Worker Shocked By Lightning Strike While Talking On Phone

CHICAGO (CBS) — A city worker is proof that your mother’s warning to turn off the TV and stay away from electrical appliances isn’t just an old wives’ tale.

As CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports, the Streets and Sanitation employee was shocked while talking on the phone during Monday morning’s storm and fortunately wasn’t seriously hurt.

Co-workers said Catherine Moro was on the second floor of the Streets and San building on the 2300 block of South Ashland Avenue, sitting at her desk.

She was talking on the phone when lightning struck the transformer right outside her window. That’s when the building lost power and she fell to the ground.

Witnesses said she was unconscious for a few seconds, but quickly recovered.

“During a lightning, storm lightning will obviously hit electrical equipment and electrical lines. She was on a landline, so there’s electrical wire involved,” explained Fidel Marquez, Senior V.P. of Customer Operations for Streets and Sanitation.

ComEd crews at the scene explained that the surge of electricity probably traveled through the floor, up the wire of the phone and shocked Moro.

Marquez said it’s a reminder of the safety steps businesses and homeowners should practice during a storm.

“From a safety standpoint you should stay away from using appliances. And that’s why you should turn off your TV, because lightning can be dangerous,” he said.

One more safety reminder from ComEd and your mother: stay away from windows during a storm.

As for Moro, she was taken to UIC Medical Center, where she was checked out and released.

She could not be reached for comment.

  • johnk

    They should make the distinction that cordless phones are fine and wireless devices like a laptop that are not plugged into power, are okay to use during a storm.

  • Roger

    I wonder what this woman does to earn $80,000 per year?

    It couldn’t be any type of manual labor.

    She must be a very good talker and could the journalist please spell her name correctly?

    Maybe, with proper spelling and background checks, you too may earn $80,000 per year as well?

    • Wow

      Catherine Mauro – listed as “Coordinator of Special Projects” for Streets and Sanitation. She makes $80,916/year BASE SALARY. I’d bet her total comp is over $100K including benefits, overtime, etc. Gotta love this city.

  • Larry

    The first thing I thought about when seeing this story was looking up this woman’s salary. Thanks for saving me the trouble, Roger. $80K huh? Why is it that Streets and San is such a gold mine for employees? It’s ridiculous. I can tell from one look at this woman that she’s not educated at all. I guess she “worked her way up.” Right.

  • Orca Takes A Lightning Bolt

    She will be gone for two months, full pay and benefits, off on phone stress disorder.

  • Pothead

    Seeing she is a city employee thats probably the fastest she’s ever moved.

    • Kelly

      So true!

  • TO Rodger

    Your like many others just jealous,you wern`t sharp enough to go for a job like that when you had a chance ,go cry on your mothers shoulder not ours!!!!


    Maybe next time it will strike larry and roger as they wear those headsets and work the drive thru at their jobs. Then we can poke fun and laugh at them.

  • StreetsnSands

    My question is: WHY was she on the phone at work?

    And we pay taxes for her to be talking on the phone? She makes $80,000+ a year to be sitting at a desk talking on the phone?


  • Victims Reitive

    Most of you who are commenting about the poor victim appear to have done so during normal business hours, probably you are stealing time from your employer, out of work bust outs or home-bound social outcasts. What about her braving the storm & warnings to be at her desk doing her job which requires a phone. Over half of the employees of my small business arrived late or not at all. Larry, the TSA trained you well to have the ability to look at a shocked victim and judge their education – pitiful. By the way she is at her job today.

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