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Severe storms slam Pennsylvania

Powerful weather leaves buildings collapsed, cars overturned and natural gas leaks in Pennsylvania.

Posted: Jun 14, 2018 6:12 PM
Updated: Jun 14, 2018 6:25 PM

Several homes and businesses in Wilkes-Barre Township in eastern Pennsylvania were destroyed or damaged Wednesday night by a tornado, a National Weather Service official confirmed Thursday.

"We've been surveying the damage, it was definitely a tornado touchdown," Dave Nicosia, warning coordination meteorologist for the NWS said Thursday at a news conference. "We are putting the GPS coordinates in now to determine length of path."

The twister struck Wednesday night and shredded homes, tore up several businesses and knocked down power lines and trees in Wilkes-Barre Township, which is next to the much larger City of Wilkes-Barre, the Luzerne County Emergency Management said.

Drone video footage from Thursday morning showed roofs had been damaged or torn off several businesses. Trucks lay overturned in the parking lot at a U-Haul store.

"There is really nothing left of U-Haul," said Ron Smith, Wilkes-Barre Township Emergency Management Coordinator and Police Chief. "That building will have to be destroyed."

Buildings are being examined now and some will have to be condemned, Smith said. Luzerne County Manager Dave Pedri said at least 23 businesses were damaged or destroyed.

Authorities were surprised by the power of the storm. The wind carried parts of businesses -- like a sign from Dick's Sporting Goods -- miles away, Smith said.

"Personally, I've never seen anything like this in this area," Nicosia said.

No fatalities were reported, Smith said. Six people with minor injuries were treated at the scene and didn't have to go to a hospital, he said.

Nicosa said a tornado warning was issued about 20 minutes before the storm struck. Emergency crews searched through debris for people who might not evacuated the area. Residents were asked to stay away.

The Arena Hub Plaza, a major shopping center in eastern Pennsylvania, received major damage.

Wilkes-Barre Township Mayor Carl Kuren said it was fortunate the bad weather hit about an hour after the mall closed. "There could have been a real catastrophe," he said.

Smith said mall officials have told him they expect to reopen Friday.

At least seven tornadoes have been reported in Pennsylvania this year, CNN meteorologists said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 114236

Reported Deaths: 3548
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Marion21067764
Lake10397321
Elkhart6477109
St. Joseph6312105
Allen6113201
Hamilton4803109
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Hendricks2694123
Monroe253136
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Ohio787
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 147744

Reported Deaths: 4715
CountyConfirmedDeaths
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Cuyahoga17327656
Hamilton12953315
Montgomery7667157
Lucas7230364
Butler5838110
Summit5237252
Marion308347
Mahoning3030281
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Fairfield206752
Columbiana192480
Licking189863
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Wood180472
Clark177740
Clermont167923
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Medina145139
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Allen140869
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Portage111666
Mercer110118
Erie93246
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Richland83919
Madison80212
Darke78442
Belmont71827
Geauga71348
Hancock68610
Ashtabula65548
Athens6532
Lawrence64122
Shelby61010
Auglaize5859
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Sandusky55820
Huron5427
Union5152
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Preble43015
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Jefferson3354
Logan3083
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Clinton28613
Brown2842
Knox28215
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Hardin25213
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