More than 6,100 still without power in Del. after storm

An Action News viewer sent in this picture from the area of Route 202 and Interstate 95. The viewer said it is a funnel cloud, but our meteorologists say it would be tough to confirm that without video to check for rotation.
August 10, 2011 8:47:00 AM PDT
The National Weather Service will not send investigators to northern Delaware following strong storms on Tuesday afternoon.

While many people believed a tornado had gone through, the NWS said it believes the damage was caused by straight-line winds.

A Tornado Warning was issued early Tuesday afternoon for that area. The warning has since been cancelled.

Thousands of people are still without power in New Castle County. As of 1:00 a.m. At last check Wednesday morning, as many as 6,165 remain without power.

Delmarva Power tells Action News that there were 21,000 people without power at the height of the storm. There were a total of 21 poles that needed to be replaced in New Castle County. They expect to restore power to most customers today but say some will be without power into tomorrow night.

In Wilmington, tornado sirens blared, warning residents to take cover. On the 3400 block of Lancaster Pike in Wilmington the storm took down at least a half dozen utility poles.

Janaia Jackson was inside her godmother's row home on the 500 block of North Harrison when the storm swept through. She heard a loud boom, went up stairs to the second floor, and saw the sky.

"I could see through the ceiling. There were bricks everywhere on the ground and parts of the ceiling was on the floor," she said.

Natasha Loat has rented her now-roofless row home for three years.

"I just got a call that it was leaking in my bedroom. I came home and I didn't know it was leaking in my whole house!" she said.

Loat said she had just left her home, with her two small children, when the storm started. She was told a bolt of lightning hit the house and the wind swept away the roof.

Across the street, a giant tree split in half during the storm. Loat said she was just relieved her goddaughter and her children are safe and sound.

"That's the only thing that's keeping me together is that my kids were not there," Loat said. "That's the only thing keeping me together.

Along North Adams Street, a roof collapsed on three-story home, leaving two families to clean up the damage.

The families do not have renters insurance.

Yolanda Miller says she told her landlord about leaks in the roof a few weeks ago which he says were patched up.

That fix still wasn't enough for the powerful storm that ripped through the area.

"I'm homeless, what am I suppose to do until this is resolved, what am I to do? On top of me losing hours for work, it's not fair to me," Miller said.

Meanwhile in Hockessin, on Ambleside Drive, about a dozen homes have moderate to severe damage.

It started with heavy rains then residents say a wind blast ripped through the area snapping the tops of large, healthy trees that came crashing down onto about a dozen homes.

Bill Rooney has lived in the area for 51 years. He and his wife were home at the time; their house was one of the hardest hit.

"If it was another 20 feet over, the house would be gone, I suspect," Bill said.

Authorities say most of the damage was reported in the northern part of New Castle County today.

There was minor flooding, but most of the damage was to trees and utility poles, apparently triggered by wind.

The Rooneys have been told they cannot live in their home until it is deemed safe.

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