Cleanup Underway After Strong Storms

PENN TOWNSHIP — A steeple was toppled and trees were snapped in half when powerful storms hit.

PPl Electric says just about everyone who lost electricity in Sunday’s storms is back on line.

Most of the damage from the storm was in central Pennsylvania. The Selinsgrove area was one of the hardest hit places.   The storm damaged a church and a golf course.

The steeple at St. Pius X Catholic Church isn’t where it’s supposed to be.  It now sits on the ground of the church in Penn Township, near Selinsgrove.  The steeple was blown off the five-year-old building Sunday.

A photo shows the metal steeple just after the storm hit.  A worker at the church says the damage looks bad, but it’s relatively minor.  Some shingles were dinged, but the structure is intact.

Ken Smith is the caretaker at Union Cemetery, just down the road from the church.  There are downed limbs there.  He says the storm came up fast.

“It just got pitch black and the wind picked up probably 40, 50 miles per hour and blew limbs all down the Susquehanna River.”

Smith needs more than a lawn mower and a weed trimmer.  His wife brought a chain saw.

Another place hit by the Sunday evening storm was Susquehanna Valley Country Club in Hummels Wharf.

“It’s moderate to severe.  We lost a couple trees, a lot of big limbs, a lot of fine stuff,” said Greg Bingeman, course superintendent.

Crews are racing the clock.  They have to get trees cleaned up and the place back in shape in time for a big weekend tournament.

Bingeman is confident it can be done, and he knows it involves bringing in a lot of outside help.

“I’ve been here 42 years.  I’ve seen it worse.  I’ve seen it not quite as bad, obviously, you get used to it.”

Bingeman adds the tees, greens and fairways should be back in shape quickly.   The rest of the cleanup could take more than a week.