National Weather Service: Tornado Hit Spring Brook Township

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SPRING BROOK TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- National Weather Service investigators confirm it was a tornado that tore through an area of Lackawanna County Tuesday night.

Officials said an EF-0 tornado with winds estimated at 80 mph knocked down trees and utility lines in Spring Brook Township.

People who live on Aston Mountain Road in Spring Brook Township saw the funnel cloud and heard the whistle of the wind around 6 p.m. Tuesday.

"Literally shaking because it was so loud, and the wind was so wild."

Julia Weidow, her husband, and their 4-year-old son were at their home on Aston Mountain Road when they saw what they thought was for sure a funnel cloud.

"I was in the middle of the house yelling to him, 'What should we do? What should we do?' We don't have a basement, so that was the safest place to be in the middle of the house," Weidow said.

One day later, the National Weather Service came out to survey the damage to determine if that funnel cloud did, in fact, become a tornado.

"It is the start of the process of the tornado. You're getting a circulation of clouds, but it's not hitting the ground. It doesn't become a tornado until it actually touches down," said NWS meteorologist Mitchell Gaines.

Officials with the National Weather Service office in Binghamton, New York determined it was a weak tornado, an EF-0, with estimated winds of 80 miles per hour.

"We were scared. We thought, 'Not another one,'" Cecelia Prizzi said. "Especially after the last tornado."

There was another tornado in Spring Brook Township in February of 2017. It happened on the same road, Aston Mountain Road, about a mile away from the most recent tornado.

"It happened just about a mile down, and now this was, basically, in our backyard. It just keeps getting closer. I don't remember growing up ever having these many tornadoes."

There were no reports of any injuries, and it appears all of the damage in this part of Lackawanna County was contained to trees and wires, but still, people who live here are shaken up because they never thought it could happen to them, especially twice in two years.

"We have a lot of differences in terrain, and that sometimes can be favorable conduits for tornadoes to hit, unfortunately," Gaines said.

According to the National Weather Service, the tornado was likely only on the ground for about a minute or two, crossing only one street, Aston Mountain Road in Spring Brook Township.

The National Weather Service said a second EF-0 tornado touched down about 10 minutes later near Elias Road. That tornado had estimated wind speeds of about 70 mph and tore the roof off a barn and knocked down trees.

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