Storm knocks down trees, cause damage across area

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Andrea Zimmerman knew there was a strong storm happening while she slept early Monday morning. But she didn't realize how strong it was until she woke up.

"My dad looked out the window and said 'something doesn't look right out there, something's missing," Zimmerman said.

Something was missing - a huge tree that had been in the Zimmermans' yard for as long as they lived there.

The tree fell across the street in the 500 block of Prospect Avenue in Prospect Park, Delaware County.

George Lashley, who lives just a few houses down, heard the tree fall.

"It sounded like a freight train coming through the house," he said.

None of the homes got damaged.

The tree fell away from Zimmerman's house and was just short of hitting the home of her neighbor across the street.

"Oh my gosh, I was crying," Zimmerman said. "I was so thankful nobody got hurt."

A tree also went down in the front yard of a home in the 300 block of Kerlin Street in Chester. Lightning struck the tree, sending it crashing into a fence.

Another tree toppled on 8th Avenue at Avenue of the States.

Much of the damage happened between 3 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. That was the same time that the area was under a tornado warning.

Zimmerman said her neighbors moved their cars earlier in the evening from the very spot where the tree fell in front of her home.

And that's not the only thing that ended up being good fortune as it relates to the downed tree.

"I was just getting ready to call someone to remove (the tree)," she said. "So thank goodness that it fell nicely!"

Just before 5 a.m., cars became stuck on Route 202 Southbound near Valley Forge Road in Tredyffrin Township, Chester County. Clogged storm drains resulted in four lanes being flooded out. Police were called to the scene to direct drivers around the flooded area.

The storm is being blamed for a partial roof collapse at an apartment complex on the 2000 block of South 8th Street in Camden, New Jersey. It happened around 5 a.m. Officials said several dozen residents were affected. One person was injured.

Action News viewer Ray Skwire took video of the storm from American Water Headquarters in Camden.

"I don't know yet if there actually was a tornado or not, but this was at American Water in Camden. I was shooting some stills when I saw the storm really start to turn (I was aware of the tornado warning) and so I quickly packed up and hopped in my car. I was planning on staying in the waterfront but conditions seriously degraded in seconds, so I moved to find a safer location. That location was simply parked in the North side of one of the nearby buildings to wait it out. Debris was flying everywhere, there was small hail, and it was insane," Skwire said.

Authorities in Tullytown, Bucks County believe lightning is to blame for sparking a house fire around 5 a.m. on the 300 block of Wood Street. The blaze started in the attic. Everyone inside was able to get out safely.
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