Storm cleanup could takes days

June 11, 2008 4:30:13 PM PDT
Steve Johnson was surprised by what he saw outside his Elkins Park home last night. "I usually sit outside.. ?it was over." It didn't last long but the damage will.

Enormous trees all throughout this part of Montgomery County were toppled over like dominoes.

Randy Schwartz looked on in disbelief. "My husband was? ?into the house."

They ran out the back door to a scene of chaos.

And the danger wasn't over, even as daylight revealed the full extent of the damage.

Arcing electric lines set trees on fire in Abington Township this morning.

Many residents were prisoners in their own homes, afraid to come out.

Gene Chapalas was among them. "Of course? ?we're afraid."

A huge tree toppled over across Forrest Road.

It engulfed the house across the street, but the 97 year old woman who lives there was unharmed.

She told firefighters last night that she had two flashlights and didn't want to leave.

Her niece came to get her out of the house today.

The buzz of chainsaws filled the air.

In Roslyn, neighbors all pitched in to help clear two huge trees that narrowly missed a row of houses.

They went down with a bang. Mike Saresky described what happened. "Like a big boom? ?a big kaboom."

A huge sycamore went down in the yard across the street.

The enormous root ball tore up a playset in Bill Smith's backyard.

"I watched it?. ?.people in the house."

Thankfully there were no reports of serious injuries.

PECO is still struggling to restore power throughout the area. Many traffic lights are still out, and there are plenty of detours from downed power lines and trees.