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Strong Storm Damages Businesses, Overturns Cars In Luzerne County

14 June 2018

A powerful storm damaged the Panera Bread restaurant in the Arena Hub shopping area in Wilkes-Barre Township, Pa., on Wednesday.

Multiple buildings collapsed and cars were overturned during the storm in Wilkes-Barre Township. "When that happened, I was like I have to get closer to the inside of the store".

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). Dave Skutnik, the Regional Director of Communications for the Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania said that fortunately, there have been no fatalities, but a "few minor injuries" have been reported so far.

In the city of Wilkes-Barre, damage was reported in the area of the Wyoming Valley Mall while the area was under a tornado warning. "We had no idea what was going on", Frie said. Nearly everyone's cars in the parking lot were destroyed. Power lines were knocked down, and debris was scattered throughout the area.

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First responders removed the guns and ammunition from Dick's Sporting Goods as a safeguard, and pets were also evacuated from the Petco and PetSmart stores for their safety, Smith said.

According to NWS, a severe thunderstorm caused the tornado, which touched down near Mundy Street and Highland Park Boulevard by Wyoming Valley Mall.

While tornadoes can occur at any time of the year in Pennsylvania, the state sees them most frequently in May, June and July, with June historically bringing the most.

"As we stand right now, we have no leaks", Brominski said Thursday morning.

Strong Storm Damages Businesses, Overturns Cars In Luzerne County