Wilkes-Barre Township: NWS investigating possible Pennsylvania tornado

Storm damage in Wilkes Barre Twp. on Wednesday night. Nico Rossi  Staff

Storm damage in Wilkes Barre Twp. on Wednesday night. Nico Rossi Staff

In Bradford County, damage was reported in three neighboring townships, but emergency personnel said there were no reports of injuries.

"Two things we need to be thankful for, the first is so few people were hurt and the six people who were hurt, the injuries were minor".

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

A powerful storm damaged the Panera Bread restaurant in the Arena Hub shopping area in Wilkes-Barre Township, Pa., on Wednesday. Storefronts are barely recognizable and parts of roofing, concrete blocks and other debris were scattered throughout the parking lot of this business community.

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

A tornado warning was issued late Wednesday night for Wilkes-Barre, Kingston and Plymouth.

"The doors were busting open", Frie said.

They'll head to Wilkes-Barre on Thursday to assess the damage.

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Gov. Tom Wolf planned to tour the scene later Thursday afternoon, and 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.

A violent tornado ripped across eastern Pennsylvania overnight, chewing-up everything in its path. "This is a commercial hub in Luzerne County, this is a lovely area", said Luzerne County Manager David Pedri.

The mall and the businesses on Mundy Street between Highland Park Boulevard and Tambur Boulevard will remain closed Thursday, according to officials.

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. "Our system is holding and safe at this point".

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