Cleanup begins after strong storms hit

PHILADELPHIA - July 27, 2012

Wind, rain, and lightning toppled trees and knocked out power to thousands of people.

Threatening clouds gathered over Quakertown around 7:00 p.m. Thursday - a sign of the storm to come, which would knock out power and cause damage throughout the area.

"It was like an eclipse that happened! I'm looking out window, got so dark all of a sudden," said Carmen Jones of Northeast Philadelphia.

Action News caught up with Jones as she walked by a tree that fell and toppled onto a minivan in the 2800 block of Welsh Road.

Neighbors described how the storm that took down that tree was fierce and blew through quickly.

"It only lasted, like, maybe a minute, and then it like got calm for two seconds," said Robert Smith. "Then I heard a 'booosh!' It fell over like it was in slow motion."

Elsewhere in Northeast Philadelphia, another massive tree crashed on a house on the 7700 block of Bradford Street, trapping residents inside.

Resident Asif Kureshi tells us, "They evacuated the family, but they're all safe."

In Fairmount Park around 11:00 p.m., a lightning bolt took down a tree, which dragged down nearby electrical wires. They all tumbled on top of a car, trapping a woman inside at Belmont Avenue and Belmont Mansion Drive. She was in there for more than 30 minutes. PECO crews were called to shut off power lines and the woman was able to walk out of the car unhurt.

On the 500 block of Acorn in Roxborough a tree was uprooted, smashing through a window in a nearby house and cracking the brick facade.

Roxborough resident Ron Dolenci described what happened, saying, "As I turn around and look there was the void in the sky, and I was like, 'Where's the tree?' And then I saw the tree. The tree was basically all over the house here."

In Camden, a woman was injured after a tree smashed into her front porch where she had been sitting. Firefighters had to cut her out with chainsaws. She was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

There are still some power outages across the area. Even though crews have been working all night to clean up after the storm, there are still some problem spots due to debris on the roadways or traffic light outages. So, make sure to use extra caution whether you're on the sidewalk or on the roads.

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