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Up to 30 Schuylkill County homes damaged by heavy winds

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 20 2013 05:48:07 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 21 2013 09:37:01 AM CDT

Tremont wind damage

TREMONT, Pa. -

Was it a tornado or something else?  That's what people in Schuylkill Co. are asking, after a strong storm left quite a trail of damage behind in the borough of Tremont.

In all, up to 30 homes were damaged, most off Route 209 around Line and Laurel streets.

This little guy was supervising today.. as residents all across Tremont.. in Schuylkill County.. cleaned up after a powerful storm last night.

"It sounded like a freight train coming through," said Bob Donmoyer, president of Tremont Borough Council.

Resident Chris Carl said it was an intense storm.

"The lights started flickering and stuff like that," he said.

The storm moved through around 7 p.m., and moved out fast.

"Within about 5,10 minutes -- hit and gone," said Tremont firefighter Bill Barry.

It wasn't long before borough leaders started hearing speculation that this was a tornado.

"Two people said it looked like a circle or funnel, and they thought it might have been a miniature tornado," said Donmoyer.

A National Weather Service team will investigate whether this was, in fact, a small twister, or just more common straight line winds.

"Everything was blown all over the place," said Carl.  "The siding, the back porch, shingles off the roof."

No matter what it was, residents have quite a mess to clean up.

"Trees down, windows blown," said Mayor Roger Adams.  "Some of the roofs were peeled back."

Barry added:  "There's a lot of car damage."

Tremont suffered flooding back in 2011.  Then, as now, neighbors started helping neighbors.

"It's a small community and everybody knows everybody else, and we all work together," said Donmoyer.

The National Weather Service in State College said it didn't get any reports of a tornado touchdown Friday night, but just to be sure, they are sending a crew to Tremont take a look first-hand.