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The Latest: 2 tornadoes confirmed with speeds of 111-135 mph

June 14, 2018
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U-Haul trucks parked on Mundy Street in Wilkes-Barre Township, Pa., are damaged after a strong storm moved through the area on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. A powerful storm has pounded parts of Pennsylvania, damaging buildings, overturning cars and downing trees and power lines. (Christopher Dolan/The Citizens' Voice via AP)

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on severe weather in northeast Pennsylvania (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

The National Weather Service says two tornadoes that touched down in Pennsylvania on Wednesday night were classified as EF2, meaning they had estimated top wind speeds of 111-135 mph.

Two teams of investigators went to Bradford County and to Wilkes-Barre on Thursday to determine whether damage from storms was caused by tornadoes.

Both teams reported damage consistent with EF2 tornadoes.

The tornado in Wilkes-Barre damaged one of the region’s major commercial districts, destroying 11 stores and severely damaging a handful of others.

Authorities say about 10 houses in Bradford County had severe to moderate damage.

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2:35 p.m.

National Weather Service investigators confirm that a second tornado touched down Wednesday evening in Pennsylvania.

Investigators in Bradford County in northeast Pennsylvania say that a tornado caused the damage in Franklin Township. Officials say more information including an estimated intensity of the tornado and distance of its path would be released later Thursday.

Another team of investigators confirms an EF2 tornado with a high wind speed of 130 miles per hour touched down in Wilkes-Barre about 10 p.m. Wednesday causing severe damage to one of the region’s main commercial corridors.

There were only six minor injuries reported from the severe weather Wednesday.

A strong storm pounded parts of Pennsylvania. The storm damaged numerous businesses in a shopping plaza in Wilkes-Barre, overturning cars and downing trees and power lines. The National Weather Service is investigating whether it was a tornado. (June 14)

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2:25 p.m.

National Weather Service officials say a tornado that touched down near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and stayed on the ground for about a half mile Wednesday night was an EF2 tornado.

Weather service investigators visited Wilkes-Barre on Thursday to assess the damage to one of the region’s major commercial hub and determine if a tornado had landed. A preliminary report from the investigators showed damage consistent with a strong tornado with wind speeds of between 111 and 135 miles per hour.

The report says the tornado likely touched down around the Wyoming Valley Mall and traveled southeast for about a half mile. It says structures were “sheared off near their foundation.”

A second team is still investigating whether a tornado had touched down in nearby Bradford County.

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1:10 p.m.

National Weather Service officials have confirmed that at least one tornado touched down in Pennsylvania Wednesday night.

A team of investigators said Thursday afternoon that the damage in Wilkes-Barre about 110 miles (177.02 kilometers) north of Philadelphia was caused by a tornado. More details about the tornado including its intensity and an estimate of damage were set to be released later Thursday.

The tornado caused severe damage in one of the region’s major commercial corridors, destroying storefronts and ripping roofs off buildings. Emergency management officials say six people sustained minor injuries.

National Weather Service officials say on Twitter that a second team on the ground in Bradford County is still determining if damage there was from straight line winds or a tornado.

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10 a.m.

National Weather Service investigators will try to determine if a tornado hit two northeast Pennsylvania counties.

They’ll head to Wilkes-Barre and to an area of nearby Bradford County on Thursday to assess the damage.

A powerful storm struck a shopping plaza in Wilkes-Barre late Wednesday night while the area was under a tornado warning. Township police wrote on their Facebook page that there were reports of “multiple collapsed buildings.”

Photos posted on social media show shattered storefronts and major damage to businesses. Emergency personnel had shut down streets and cordoned off the area because of damage to a large propane tank.

Photos of the damage near Granville Township in Bradford County shows collapsed homes and damage to local businesses.

Emergency officials say there were six minor injuries reported in Wilkes-Barre.

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