Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

National Weather Service confirms tornado touched down in Wilkes-Barre

Possible tornado rips through Wilkes-Barre; multiple buildings damaged (photos) National Weather Service to determine if tornado hit town
Lisa Bryan | 15 June, 2018, 11:22

Multiple buildings collapsed and cars were overturned during the storm in Wilkes-Barre Township.

"We're very fortunate that it's only six people that were injured and they were all minor injuries", said Wilkes-Barre Police Chief Ron Smith. The NWS was expected to officially determine whether a tornado had, in fact, struck the area.

Strong storms smacked eastern Pennsylvania Wednesday night, leaving six people wounded and causing significant damage to several buildings. Debris lay scattered in parking lots and on streets and sidewalks.

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

In the city of Wilkes-Barre, damage was reported in the area of the Wyoming Valley Mall while the area was under a tornado warning.

"That's the nature of a tornado", Gov. Tom Wolf said after touring the scene.


Luzerne County Manager Dave Pedri described the damage to the area as "staggering", noting that the destruction occurred in the heart of one of the region's premier shopping districts, which will be a blow to the local economy.

Meteorologist Joanne LaBounty from the NWS in Binghamton said the office planned to release reports with more details from both teams Thursday afternoon.

"The doors were busting open". Since 1888, there have been 175 tornadoes in Pennsylvania recorded in June, according to WPMT.

Joy Frie told The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens' Voice that staff and patrons huddled in the kitchen of the bar where she works until they could escape to another business.

Red Cross spokesman Dave Skutnik said on Twitter that the injuries weren't serious, but called the damage in the Luzerne County township "horrific".

State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, said he was working to get aide for the township through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and its state counterpart.

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