Possible tornado rips through Wilkes-Barre; multiple buildings damaged

Damage is seen from possible tornado in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania on night

Damage is seen from possible tornado in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania on night

The Wilkes-Barre Township Police Department posted on Facebook that there were "multiple collapsed/damaged buildings" in the area of Mundy Street, and asked drivers to avoid the area.

"I never seen anything like this in my life", township Mayor Carl Kuren said at the scene Thursday morning.

The National Weather Service survey conducted on Thursday confirmed damage consistent with an EF-2 tornado, with estimated maximum winds of 130 miles per hour (201 km/h). Debris lay scattered in parking lots and on streets and sidewalks.

First responders, the American Red Cross and the National Weather Service were all deployed to the scene.

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Emergency officials say there were six minor injuries reported in Wilkes-Barre.

Jeff Scarboro, the director of public safety and emergency management for the county, said there were about 10 homes with varying reports of damage some of which appeared to be destroyed. "That's a concern. But we are lucky no one was seriously hurt", Pedri said.

In the morning light Thursday, the scene along Mundy Street resembled a war zone, with debris in the streets and store fronts showing collapsed roofs, broken windows and damaged signs.

Luzerne County Manager Dave Pedri described the damage 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.

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A possible tornado left a path of damage in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The storm knocked out power to at least 7,200 people.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Binghamton, New York, determined tornadoes had touched down in Franklin and Wilkes-Barre townships.

Debris and damaged vehicles sit in front of a auto dealership on Thursday in Wilkes-Barre. He said was working with county and state officials to determine if the storm would qualify for federal disaster aid.

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