Tornado, funnel cloud reports being investigated in Chester, Lehigh Counties

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The weather service will survey the area Wednesday, after reported sightings of funnel clouds in Lehigh County and a possible tornado in Chester County. (WPVI)

The National Weather Service says a possible tornado swept through southeastern Pennsylvania Tuesday, while thunderstorms flooded parts of Lehigh Valley and brought at least 3 inches of rain to the Poconos.

The weather service will survey the area Wednesday, after reported sightings of funnel clouds in Lehigh County and a possible tornado in Chester County. Winds there likely reached at least 65 mph.

Meteorologist Walter Drag of the weather service office in Mount Holly, New Jersey, says the storms in the Lehigh Valley included nickel-sized hail and strong winds that knocked down trees and power lines and damaged some homes.

Action News viewers confirmed the power of the wind and rain that hammered the region Tuesday, and the damage they caused.

"I never experienced anything like that before, never," said Bill Meyer of Whitehall Township, Pa.

The fast-moving storm brought powerful winds, hail, rain, and according to a lot of people Action News spoke with - a funnel cloud.

"Peeled the roof right back, my siding is all dented up, my screens have holes in it, my shed has holes in it, so I've got a bit of damage," Meyer said.

Meyer's neighbor, Jennie Dannecker, says when the sky went dark and the funnel cloud formed, she and her family ducked for cover.

"We went down in the basement and heard a loud crash and it was the patio roof coming down," Dannecker said.

A state of emergency was declared Tuesday afternoon in Whitehall Township, Pa.

Local handyman Sandi Carr was doing some repair work at Colonial Kennels when the storm hit.

He jumped into his truck just as five giant trees toppled, including one that clipped a utility pole with a transformer attached.

"While I was sitting in there, the transformer over there flew down and smashed into the ground. It started arcing and sparking and the ground caught on fire," Carr said.

Fortunately, Sandi's truck never came into contact with those live wires.

And over in the borough of Coplay, it's more of the same.

Linda Hoppes who lives on Willow Street says it was the most frightening thing she has ever seen.

"You could see the swirl in the funnel and inside the house you could just feel the pressure, it was like a confinement pressure," Hoppes said.

When it was over, two massive trees toppled in crisscross fashion and part of a roof was in the backyard.

"It was just crazy, mad crazy," Hoppes said.

The National Weather Service is expected to be out in Coplay, Pa. on Wednesday to survey the damage.

Meanwhile in the storm caused damage to a home in Folsom, Delaware County.

A resident tells Action News lightning struck a home in the 1700 block of Orchard Avenue.

It caused damage to the chimney and knocked the bricks to the ground.

Luckily, no one was injured, but the roof was damaged.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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