EF1 Tornado Confirmed in Susquehanna County

HARFORD TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The National Weather Service confirmed an EF1 tornado touched down in Harford Township in Susquehanna County early Monday morning.

NWS officials said the twister, with wind speeds around 90 mph, was on the ground for a little over two miles just before 2 a.m. The tornado touched down on Tingley Street and moved along Deer Trail Road where it took down a barn and portions of a silo. The tornado then took down trees and wires on Orphan School Road and Bartholomew Road. It then lifted over Interstate 81 and touched down again on Upper and Lower Podunk roads where more trees and wires came down.

Other parts of Susquehanna and Wayne counties were also hit hard by the winds and heavy rains.

At Mountain View Area School District, there was quite a bit of damage outside the school. Some trees were toppled, and sports equipment blown far off. The National Weather Service was in the area looking at the damage.

In Wayne County, it was a similar story with lots of storm damage closing roads and wrecking property.

PennDOT crews were already at work tackling a section of Route 191 sheared off by flash floods overnight near Honesdale.

"Oh, my gosh, I couldn't believe the amount of destruction that happened. It's crazy," said business owner Kevin Dunn.

Dunn owns a health center. The place suffered some water damage but the businesses inside still were up and running.

"We're trying to work around things, trying to dry things up. We got a little water in the building, working to clear things out a little bit."

"There's no working around things up the road. A popular shortcut has been knocked out. Shuman Road in Cherry Ridge Township was washed away by heavy rain overnight.

"It sounded like a river, must be the creek or whatever, didn't think anything of it really at first, then I saw the road and was like, 'Wow!' right down the road," said Diedre Patrisso.

Even more roads were closed depending on where the storm toppled trees onto wires, including here near Waymart.

Bob Barna and his family now have their own troubles thanks to the powerful storm. The walls and roof of his barn are blown apart and on the verge collapse.

"This building had been here 40 years, never sustained damage like this," said Barna.

Like others who survived the storm, Barna and his family did what they had to in order to stay safe.

"We went down the basement as soon as we heard, we don't know what we heard but sounded like a freight train."

Barna says he's not sure if insurance will cover the damage.

It was nonstop at the Empet farm in Harford Township in Susquehanna County, with the family, neighbors, contractors all pitching in to undo the damage done overnight in a violent storm.

Fifth generation farmer Rick Empet could say that again he ran out in the middle of the night to find the storm got the better of his barns.

"Cows were running everywhere all through the roads, just didn't even see the building that was flattened yet, just disbelief," he said.

His daughter Chelsea was frantic, fearful her 4H cows were under all the damage.

"The cows were everywhere, and I saw the barn was collapsed on one end. I was worried because my show animals were in there for 4H," Chelsea said.

Somehow, amidst all the damage, the cows survived and hours later, a calf was born, just a sign that the farm keeps going in spite of setbacks like this.

"We got five barns that are flattened, roof off, silo, top of the silo's gone," Rick Empet said.

Not far from the farm, Mountain View School District also had a few goners in this storm. Athletic equipment was thrown far off and mangled together.

"We have our batting cage, our soccer goals, the track mats were found a quarter mile away, some on top of batting cages," said Mountain View Superintendent Karen Voigt.

The winds were still whipping while Voigt explained the students still had school even though the elementary school was without power until 10 a.m.

"The high school had power, elementary had no power. We put kids in the auditorium, fed them breakfast," Voigt said.

School leaders say they have contacted their insurance company.

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