Possible Tornado Collapses Multiple Buildings, Overturns Cars in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Possible tornado rips through Wilkes-Barre; multiple buildings damaged (photos)

A Panera Bread restaurant in the Arena Hub shopping area in Wilkes-Barre Township.

Multiple buildings collapsed and cars were overturned during the storm in Wilkes-Barre Township.

The National Weather Service will be in the area Thursday to access the damage and determine whether a tornado touched down.

First responders say six people suffered minor injuries and no fatalities are reported. "We had no idea what was going on", Frie said. Power lines litter the street, with a shopping plaza hit especially hard. Nearly everyone's cars in the parking lot were destroyed.

Staff and patrons huddled in a kitchen for over an hour until they were allowed to escape to the Sonic Drive-in restaurant at the other end of the Wyoming Valley Mall parking lot.

Democratic 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".

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

The tornado touched down about 10 p.m. near Mundy Street and Highland Park Boulevard by the Wyoming Valley Mall, and traveled southeast toward I-81 before dissipating, the weather service said. Investigators said, "structures were sheared off near their foundation" when describing the damage.



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