After Storm, Assessing Damage and Cleaning Up In Newton Township

NEWTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- People in Newton Township, Lackawanna County are busy assessing the damage and cleaning up after a massive storm Tuesday night.

"This basically looks like a war zone. It took the trees, it took the building, there are buildings from the miniature golf course that was on the other side of the course," said Bert Ayers of his property.

His mini golf course was destroyed. He said he will rebuild, though probably not this year.

His bed-and-breakfast was badly damaged, too. The roof was peeled off, leaving one suite soaking wet and covered in debris.

Thankfully, no guests were inside when it happened.

"We're shut down for now. We have 30 to 60 days work I'd say, and this suite will be that long. The rest I think we can open sooner, but there's a lot of damage," said Ayers.

Across the road, one family's home was mostly spared.

Shingles were knocked off the roof, but huge trees all over the yard were ripped to shreds.

"I've been through warnings before and never needing to hide. This time needing to hide was surreal. You know? I tried to comfort my kids saying that it wouldn't be necessary and then it was," said Renee Chernin of Newton Township.

School Street in Newton Township was blocked by a downed tree, which pulled down wires.

A tree went through Mary Ellen Burton's living room window.

"I was sitting watching you guys on television telling us that the tornado was coming, and it was in Falls and coming 38-some miles an hour and I was sitting there and I thought, 'OK,' so I grabbed the dogs. I have three dogs and two cats, and I grabbed the dogs and down the basement I went. I heard a loud noise and then a thud that must have been when the tree hit."

Nearby Countryside Community Church was hit and the roof of a barn next door was torn off.

There was destruction at Cedar BMX Park, as well.

Power was out in many spots in the township.

Despite the damage, some consider themselves lucky.

"You see where a whole town gets leveled, so you have to always think it could be a lot worse," said Carol Mielnikowski of Newton Township.

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