- A possible tornado left a path of damage in northeastern Pennsylvania.
- Multiple buildings collapsed and cars were overturned during the storm in Wilkes-Barre Township.
- A few minor injuries have been reported.
A possible tornado tore through parts of Pennsylvania late Wednesday night, overturning cars, damaging businesses and knocking down trees and power lines.
The Wilkes-Barre Township shopping plaza was hit especially hard by the strong storm. Dave Skutnik, the Regional Director of Communications for the Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania said that a “few minor injuries” have been reported so far.
Township police wrote on their Facebook page that there were reports of “multiple collapsed buildings.” They asked drivers to avoid the area to allow emergency personnel access to the shopping plaza.
Photos posted on social media showed shattered storefronts and major damage to businesses, including a Panera Bread restaurant and a Barnes & Noble bookstore. Debris lay scattered in parking lots and on streets and sidewalks.
Bruno Isles, a Panera employee, told the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader that he was washing dishes in the back of the restaurant at the time.
“My manager had us secure the doors,” he said. “We had tables and chairs flying through the windows.”
Isles said he suffered a minor scrape on his arm while he helped to get other people in the restaurant to safety.
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania took to Twitter and urged people in the path of the storm to stay safe and “please heed the warnings and follow the directions of local officials.”
The National Weather Service said it would be in Wilkes-Barre Township on Thursday to survey the damage and determine whether it was a tornado or straight-line winds that caused the damage.
The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.