EF2 tornado destroys buildings, overturns vehicles in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
By Kyle Elliott, AccuWeather meteorologist
June 15, 2018, 1:44:18 PM EDT
Severe thunderstorms moved through northeastern Pennsylvania late Wednesday evening and caused significant damage to buildings and vehicles in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
The storms were associated with a vigorous system that caused a plethora of damaging wind and hail reports across parts of New York and northern Pennsylvania on Wednesday.
Building collapses, flipped cars and blown-off roofs from buildings were reported. At least three injuries were reported after a car flipped over in the parking lot of a Panera Bread restaurant in Wilkes-Barre. Six injuries in total have been reported.
A tornado warning was issued for Wilkes-Barre and surrounding communities as the storms moved through the area between 9:30 and 10:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday.
An EF2 tornado was confirmed by the National Weather Service (NWS) on Thursday as part of a storm survey. The estimated maximum wind speed was 130 mph and the maximum width of its path 200 yards.
The tornado touched down near Mundy Street and Highland Park Boulevard by the Wyoming Valley Mall and traveled about a half mile southeast toward Interstate 81 before dissipating, according to the NWS.
The Red Cross sent a team of disaster workers to assist in cleanup efforts following the devastation in the wake of the violent storms.
Storm damage was also reported in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday night. A storm survey team confirmed on Thursday that the damage was caused by an EF2 tornado. The estimated maximum wind speed was 120 mph and the maximum width of its path 250 yards.
More photos from our team on the ground in Wilkes-Barre Township after a probable tornado there Wednesday evening. (Photos courtesy Steven Colon, American Red Cross) pic.twitter.com/ZLXFt8Qi4k— RedCrossEasternPA (@RedCrossEastPA) June 14, 2018
Here is the back of the U-Haul store. And if you look closely, there is a piece of the store or even a piece of a U-Haul truck INSIDE the Sneaker King, which is a few hundred yards away pic.twitter.com/DrFzrh0skJ— Dave Skutnik (@DaveSkutnik) June 14, 2018
Wires down, cars flipped and roofs blown about outside Wilkes-Barre tonight following reports of possible tornado touching down. No word yet on injuries. pic.twitter.com/tPjeodHWoe— Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) June 14, 2018
Tornado Warning remains in effect in northeastern PA. Eyewitness News has a crew near the Arena Hub Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township. There are several reports of severe weather damage, collapsed structures, and overturned vehicles. We will bring you the latest in EWN at 11. pic.twitter.com/Mn5MFebrsp— Eyewitness News (@wbrewyou) June 14, 2018
Propane and gas leaks have also been reported in Wilkes-Barre Township, and police have asked residents to remain clear of the area to avoid injuries.
BREAKING: Wilkes-Barre township. Live wires down at this time. Parts of roofs everywhere. Police asking everyone to leave the area. Propane leaking. Dozens of fire, police. Stay tune at 11. Busy, busy, busy here. pic.twitter.com/v5xUTuAs77— Cody Butler (@C0DYBUTLER) June 14, 2018
Major damage has also been done to the Arena Hub Plaza, including to the Eddie Bauer outlet and Barnes and Noble, in Wilkes-Barre Township.
BREAKING: Some store fronts at the Arena Hub Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township were shattered from tonight’s storm. Here’s a look at Eddie Bauer outlet and Barnes and Noble. It smells of gas here. Car parts are all over the parking lot. Power is out. @WNEP pic.twitter.com/5xF7weDrmG— Carolyn Blackburne (@cblackburne) June 14, 2018
Some pictures from the survey team in Bradford county in the Granville, Leroy & Franklin Townships. They are still assessing if the damage was due to straight line winds or a tornado from the storms on June 13. #pawx #storms pic.twitter.com/GNVPaUI2rE— NWS Binghamton (@NWSBinghamton) June 14, 2018
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