WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The images of Wilkes-Barre Township are shocking, both from on the ground and in the air, after a potential tornado touched down, ripping through the popular Arena Hub Shopping Plaza around 10 p.m. Wednesday.
"The devastation is really staggering," said Luzerne County Manager David Pedri. "We're lucky that no one was hurt. If this would've came through at 6 o'clock, we would've had massive fatalities and people really hurt. We're very lucky it came through at 10 o'clock at night."
Some businesses in the shopping complex are shredded to pieces. Power lines are down and debris is spread everywhere. Cleanup crews say they expect to be here for days.
Business owners and store managers looked on Thursday morning awaiting the fate of their properties.
"We did about seven days and 140 hours putting that building together, me and four other guys. You put your heart and your soul into something like that. The concern about the safety of the store and concern of the store is immense," said Spirit Store manager Joseph Falcone.
"I'm concerned about how the store is. We're waiting to see if they'll let us go and see what the damages are. The most important thing for us is our people. Thank God this happened late night and not during the day," said Michael's manager Huber Herrera.
Multiple businesses along Mundy Street are ripped apart, but somehow, the flower tent is still standing. The owner here says he can't believe his business is still intact.
"We are very thankful that we are still standing here. I just feel really bad for all of the business owners that are here. And if there's anything the Flower Tent can do for them, just give us a call. We'd be happy to pitch in and help them with whatever," said owner Tom Ansilio.