A wild and windy time
Trees, power lines down in area
Last Modified: April 22. 2013 1:14PM
Sweltering heat gave way to severe thunderstorms and high winds across much of Pennsylvania Thursday, leaving more than 6,000 residents in Luzerne County – and tens of thousands more across Pennsylvania – without electricity.
PPL Utilities reported power outages affecting more than 20,000 customers in Northeastern Pennsylvania. PPL and UGI Electric said about 6,500 of them were in Luzerne County, with the bulk in the townships of Dorrance, Exeter and Sugarloaf.
At 5:45 p.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a tornado near Freeland moving east at 40 mph.
Freeland police Officer Jerry Palermo said no damage was reported in the borough. But he said a huge storage building owned by the Citterio USA meat processing factory in neighboring Foster Township collapsed. There were reports of trees uprooted along a path in that area and elsewhere in southern Luzerne County. And many trees are down across the state.
Winds flung two children’s games tents at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception/Our Lady of Fatima Parish Bazaar in Wilkes-Barre into a food tent, causing it to partially collapse, said Kitchen Committee Chairman Mark Ignatovich. Fortunately, the storm hit a half hour before the event was to begin and no one was injured. The bazaar will open today at 6 p.m.
In the Lehigh Valley, PPL reported about 4,600 customers left in the dark. The Morning Call reported lightning hit two homes near Allentown.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.