Customers Sort Through U-Haul Storage After Destructive Tornado

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WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- For the first time since an EF-2 tornado ripped through Wilkes-Barre Township Wednesday night, people you use the U-Haul storage facility were escorted through the rubble to see what was left of their belongings.

U-Haul allowed customers to take a look at the condition of their storage units and the contents on Saturday.

"There's glass and rubble everywhere, but they are trying to clean it up. The inside storage units, some of them look like they're totally gone," said customer Kimlee Lockner.

Lockner was anxious to see the shape her storage unit was in because of the value of the things she keeps inside.

"Hundred-year-old photos, my mother's wedding album, my mother's ashes, my dog's ashes, collectible things that my kids have given to me over the years like you can't put a value on that."

Lockner is an outdoor storage unit customer. Hers and many others went untouched by the tornado.

"I breathed a sigh of relief as soon as we turned the corner and I saw it was all good. We opened it up just to make sure there was no water damage. We actually cheered when we were back there because it was all safe."

Others were not so lucky.

Sondra Mills tells Newswatch 16 her storage unit was damaged by the tornado, but employees at U-Haul helped her move all of her items into a different, untouched unit.

"Two other people actually moved everything over for me. I didn't have to do a thing. Yeah, they helped out a lot," Mills said.

Julio Hernandez rents two storage units. They were not damaged. He says U-Haul is doing its best to keep him and his belongings safe.

"They're giving you hard hats. They're giving you glasses. They're offering water. It's almost like a tour. You have to be escorted for your protection and safety," Hernandez said.

The customers we spoke with received a text message from U-Haul inviting them to the facility to check on their belongings.

No one from the U-Haul facility was available to speak with Newswatch 16, but Hernandez said U-Haul explained to him that there will be some sort of grace period for the rental payments on the units for the time being.

As far as some of the other businesses in Wilkes-Barre Township, Lowes, Target, and Olive Garden are back open Saturday night.


  • Peter Griffin

    “Hundred-year-old photos, my mother’s wedding album, my mother’s ashes, my dog’s ashes, collectible things that my kids have given to me over the years like you can’t put a value on that.”

    I can…. $50 a month. Why not just bury your mom, instead of keeping her locked up in a storage shed?

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