ST.THOMAS — Just hours after the National Weather Service confirmed a tornado was responsible for extensive damage to property in St. Thomas Township Friday night, the area’s state representative was promising help to its residents.
Rep. John Hershey (R-Juniata/Franklin/Mifflin) urged residents who had property damage as a result of the storm but have not had the damage documented by Franklin County Emergency Services to contact that agency immediately.
The National Weather Service confirmed this afternoon that an EF-2 tornado is responsible for last Friday’s heavy damage in the area of Lincoln Way West and Apple Way Road.
The powerful 120-mile-per-hour tornado touched down shortly after 7p.m. Friday just south of Lincoln Way. It then moved north-northeast across the highway and up Apple Way Road.
Tornado.cut 3 1/2 mile long swath
In all, it cut a 3 1/2 mile-long swath across the township, leaving downed power lines, uprooted trees and flattened buildings in its wake.
Lincoln Way West was closed for more than 24 hours while power poles were replaced and debris cleared.
C&R Produce on Lincoln Way suffered severe damage. Its main structure was heavily damaged. A propane tank was damaged and plants and produce were sent flying. Several other structures were flattened.
All along the tornado’s path trees were uprooted and buildings were damaged. Power poles were also damaged on Apple Way, leaving many homes in the area without power.
Hershey: Images Show Much Devastation
Hershey said that while he has not personally viewed the damage yet, he has heard from constituents who described the damage.
“I was not surprised when the National Weather Service confirmed today that an tornado touched down”Rep. John Hershey (R-Juniata/Franklin/Mifflin)
He said images of the storm damage show such devastation that it is clear the community is fortunate no one was hurt during the storm.
“I am thankful the tornado did not cause any injuries or loss of life,” he said.
The other two counties in Hershey’s district were also heavy hit by the storm. Hershey said NWS teams are still evaluating damage in Mifflin and Juniata Counties to determine if tornadoes had hit there also.
Local residents with property damage as a result of the tornado can call 717-264-2813 to be included in a report being made to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency