Strong storm creates heavy damage in city, suburbs

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016
VIDEO: Storm damage in Feasterville
Storm damage in Feasterville, Bucks County.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Tuesday's stormy weather caused problems across our area, from the city to the suburbs.

In Northeast Philadelphia, the eastbound side of Red Lion Road between Haldemann and Jamison avenues, was closed for a couple hours Tuesday afternoon because of fallen branches.

A pine tree was tipped onto electrical wires near Northeast Boulevard and Proctor Road, knocking out power to a few of the nearby homes.

Storm damage in Northeast Philadelphia.

Northeast Philadelphia resident Chad Edwards told Action News it was about 1:45 p.m. when winds really picked up.

"The house started shifting a bit. It kind of felt like something was pressing up against it. Looked outside, all these trees and stuff were swaying around. Then there was a loud crash. We came outside after it subsided, it maybe only lasted about five minutes," Edwards said.

There were no reports of injuries.

The storm ripped off the roof the Boys Club on the 7700 block of Ditman Street in the Holmesburg section of Philadelphia.

The roof at the Boys and Girls Club in Holmesburg was blown off.

The fast-moving storm was so strong it may have toppled two tractor trailers on the Walt Whitman Bridge. Video sent in by Gary Kogan showed the truck on its side.

Video from Gary Kogan.

Wtiness Mike Scuilly says the scene looked like a movie set.

"These tractor trailers were swaying and when I saw the one fall over it really looked like someone had a giant hand and pushed it over," Scuilly said.

It delayed traffic for more than an hour.

Across South Jersey, there was a trail of destruction: winds knocked over a billboard in Camden and a tree on Florida Avenue in Mantua.

Storm damage in New Jersey.

"It was like snap, crackle, pop. And I saw it coming down right from the kitchen window. Sparks flying. Bang," Carol VanBrill of Mantua said.

The tree fell on VanBrill's home taking down power lines, too.

Fortunately, her family has a generator; it is a lesson learned after a storm last summer knocked out power for a week.

Downed power lines shut down major roadways across the region like Mantua Pike in West Deptford and Route 130 near the Brooklawn Circle.

At one point, 20,000 PSE&G customers were without electricity. Streets in Bellmawr Park were dark as families found ways to manage.

"We're out buying LED lights because candles aren't so great with the kids," Bellmawr Park resident Charlene Kennedy said.

The heavy rain and fierce winds swept through Feasterville, Bucks County, uprooting a lot of old trees.

One such incident took place on Crocus Street. The homeowner heard limbs falling and went back to investigate.

"I was facing the direction the winds seemed to be coming, and this large tree, it started to go, it just went slowly down. I was maybe 10 , 15 feet from where it hit," homeowner Ray Engels said.

Engel was not injured, but there was lots of damage to his home of 43 years.

Storm damage was visible all over Feasterville.

On the appropriately named Windswept Road, a huge tree came crashing down.

The storm disrupted the flow of traffic until municipal workers could arrive and remove Mother Nature's obstacle.

In Richboro, Bucks County, the winds caused the roof of the barn where cows are held to be blown off at Tanner Brothers Dairy Farm on Hatboro Road.

"We have a pretty big mess to clean up," Lenny Tanner said.

Storm damage in Richboro, Pa.

Witnesses say it was just past 1 p.m. when a powerful burst of wind blew through this part of Bucks County.

It was strong enough to rip the roof off the Tanners' 40-year-old barn.

In fact, pieces of the wooden frame took off like missiles piercing the concrete silo nearby.

The storm caused damaged to Tanner Bros. farm in Richboro, Pa.

Tanner says he was inside the farm's retail store at the time.

"It happened so fast. There was some noise and somebody got me and I was surprised as anybody," Tanner said,

Several workers were inside the barn at the time, but no one was injured and the cows are just fine.

The goal now is to clean up and repair this mess as quickly as possible.

"We're just going to have to get it cleaned up and assess the damage and move forward as far as reconstruction," Tanner said.