The weather service said two storm survey teams on Thursday will asses the "considerable storm damage" in the Wilkes-Barre area and in Bradford County around Franklindale. Dave Skutnik, the Regional Director of Communications for the Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania said that a "few minor injuries" have been reported so far. An EF2, or strong tornado, has winds between 111 and 135 miles per hour.
An emergency alert and tornado warning from the weather service preceded the twister, but those caught in its path were nevertheless stunned by the devastation. Authorities say the stores will remain closed indefinitely. "We had no idea what was going on", Frie said.
A possible tornado tore through parts of Pennsylvania late Wednesday night, overturning cars, damaging businesses and knocking down trees and power lines. Nearly everyone's cars in the parking lot were destroyed.
Kurlancheek Home Furnishings and U-Haul also suffered extensive roof damage.
Gov. Tom Wolf planned to tour the scene later Thursday afternoon, and state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, said he was working to get aide for the township through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and its state counterpart.
According to the NWS, the tornado, classified as a category EF2, touched down around 10 p.m. near Mundy Street and Highland Park Boulevard by the Wyoming Valley Mall.
A number of businesses including a Panera Bread, Dicks Sporting Goods, Barnes and Noble and many other businesses were damaged by the storms.
"As we stand right now, we have no leaks", Brominski said Thursday morning.