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Storm damage across Berks County

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 12 2013 09:30:33 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 13 2013 05:03:13 AM CDT

Residents across Berks County are left cleaning up after a strong storm ripped through the area late Thursday afternoon.

Residents across Berks County are left cleaning up after a strong storm ripped through the area late Thursday afternoon.

High wind gusts, lightning and heavy rainfall brought down trees and power lines and caused major motor vehicle accidents across the county.

"It was powerful because I was sitting in the living room and looking out in that direction and those trees were just tipping and I said, oh my goodness, this is really bad. And then, all of a sudden, it was over," said Muhlenberg Township resident Naomi Klein.

As the storm passed over, Klein and other neighbors heard the sound of sirens as emergency crews were coming to rescue her neighbor, 78-year old Russeline Wily. The fire marshal says the strong wind brought down a tree and caused the homeowner to be trapped inside.

"The tree had some prior rot damage and the wind brought the tree down. The female occupant of the home was on the back deck when the tree came down and it came down on her and took the deck off the back of the house," said Muhlenberg Township Fire Detective Marshal James Pollock.

Fire crews rescued the woman out of the home and transported her to Reading Hospital.

"It is really scary. We have a lot of trees around here so it is something to worry about," said Muhlenberg Township resident Courtney Lesik.

In addition to the wind, rescue crews say lightning brought down several power lines in Rockland Township.

"There were live wires down alongside the road. They were burning alongside the road. So we had to make sure nobody was there to get electrocuted or anything," said Lyons Assistant Fire Chief David Wartzenluft.

The heavy rain also caused a vehicle to lose control on a bend and end up in a ditch in Cumru Township.

"My heart goes up my mouth because I did not know what to expect. They were locked inside. The fire guys went down and pried the doors open to get them out," said accident victim's father Daniel Lloid.

Now residents are trying to recover from a powerful, but short-lived storm.