Powerful storms hit the area

September 9, 2008 3:46:08 PM PDT
A quick-moving, but destructive storm hit parts of the tri-state area Tuesday. High winds caused substantial damage in both Berks and Northampton Counties.

Some Berks residents even wondered if they'd been hit by a tornado.

Dozens of trees were toppled and several power lines were snapped, leaving Muhlenberg without power for several hours.

"I heard something fall. I came out a little bit, and I saw this tree laying there so I quick ran back in because it was so bad," said Mike Destasio of Muhlenberg. "I said to my wife, 'I'm not going back out there again!"

Nearly all the damage occurred in a concentrated area between Beech Street and Liecz's Bridge Road.

Luis Fontanez says he knew he was in trouble when the sound of a heavy thunderstorm suddenly sounded like a freight train outside his window.

"Several minutes later I heard this huge crash. I guess that's when the tree decided to come down," Fontanez said.

The damage, it turned out, was not caused by a tornado, but by powerful straight line winds.

In Bangor, Northampton County, a home was struck by lightning, which blew the top of the chimney clean off the roof.

"Normally lightning and thunder doesn't really scare me, but that one about shook me out of my shoes," said neighbor Linda Lasher.

The house did not catch fire and there was no other damage done.


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