Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Pennsylvania tornadoes: Officials confirm tornadoes touched down in Franklin, Wilkes-Barre townships

The Latest Second tornado confirmed in Pennsylvania Possible tornado rips through Wilkes-Barre; multiple buildings damaged (photos)
Charlie Simmons | 15 June, 2018, 11:23

"There were initial reports of entrapments with building collapses and debris, but local fire departments helped with removal from those properties", Scarboro said.

"I never seen anything like this in my life", township Mayor Carl Kuren said.

Another team of investigators confirms an EF2 tornado with a high wind speed of 130 miles per hour touched down in Wilkes-Barre about 10 p.m. Wednesday causing severe damage to one of the region's main commercial corridors.

A powerful storm damaged the Panera Bread restaurant in the Arena Hub shopping area in Wilkes-Barre Township, Pa., on Wednesday.

An emergency alert and tornado warning from the weather service preceded the twister, but those caught in its path were nevertheless stunned by the devastation.

Luzerne County Emergency Management Agency volunteer Garrett Hittle said crews were working to stabilize the propane cylinder by off gassing the contents.

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At least six people were reported injured as the storm shredded homes, tore through several businesses and knocked down power lines and trees.

Some of the storm damage is visible from I-81 South near Wilkes-Barre, the Times Leader said. "That's a concern. But we are lucky no one was seriously hurt", Pedri said.

The American Red Cross has been providing aid and guidance to first responders on the scene. As of early Thursday afternoon, their live outage map showed that about 1,000 customers around Wilkes-Barre were without power.

The National Weather Service was also assessing the scene Thursday in an effort to determine if a tornado did in fact touch down, as officials at the scene said they suspected.

"If you look right across the road from here, you see parts of roof", Smith, the police chief, said as he surveyed the scene. Since 1888, there have been 175 tornadoes in Pennsylvania recorded in June, according to WPMT.

"We're all working in this together, Luzerne County always stands together", said Pedri.

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