NWS: “Weak Tornado” Caused Mainly Tree Damage In Spring Brook Twp.

October 3, 2018

SPRING BROOK TWP. — Joe Eglesia was at a loss.

The metal green roof of the Civil War era barn on his Elias Road property lay on the dewy grass in two pieces Wednesday morning, ripped from the structure by powerful winds generated in thunderstorms that tore through Northeast Pennsylvania the night before.

His insurance won’t cover the damage to the barn and, without the roof, the old structure will rot. “If that barn could talk, the stories it could tell,” Eglesia, 66, said. “But yesterday, it met its demise.”

The National Weather Service at Binghamton said Wednesday afternoon that preliminary findings from a storm survey in Spring Brook Twp. suggest a “weak tornado” caused mainly tree damage near the Luzerne County border.

The survey would begin on Aston Mountain Road, near the Luzerne County border, where strong winds flattened a large swath of trees.

Evelyn Aston sat on the recliner of her sister’s home along the 100 block and heard a growing roar she first mistook for a truck rushing by.

Trees in the yard started to “rotate around,” she said. The wind intensified. She took shelter in the bathroom, believing ita safer than the living room.

The ruckus died down after a few minutes. The wind did not damage the house but uprooted numerous trees across the street. Her thoughts first ran to “tornado.”

“It was unreal,” she said.

Firefighters with Spring Brook Twp. Volunteer Fire Company reported seeing the funnel cloud near Station 53, located along state Route 690.

Volunteer firefighter Chuck Fick captured on video the funnel cloud elongating toward the ground. The video shows the cloud moving north in an area west of Benjamin Pond right across from the fire station. Eglesia said the path it took is right behind his house.

“It was a tornado,” Eglesia said. “A funnel cloud wouldn’t have lifted off that roof. Once the wind got underneath the rafters it came right off.”

Contact the writer: jkohut@timesshamrock.com, 570-348-9144; @jkohutTT on Twitter.

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