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Trees toppled by winds lead to close calls during storm

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 27 2012 04:02:56 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 27 2012 04:51:34 PM CST

A strong winter storm caused scary moments and left behind a mess in parts of Berks County.

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. -

A strong winter storm caused scary moments and left behind a mess in parts of Berks County.

Heavy winds uprooted giant trees Wednesday night, causing one close call after another.

"All of a sudden we heard this sound that was like an explosion, and all the windows in the house shook," said Susan Drey, who found a tree leaning against her house.

It was utter shock and fear for Drey. She thought a tornado touched down on her Muhlenberg Township home around 8 p.m. Wednesday.

"We just sat really still and quiet for a minute, and I said, 'What was that?'" explained Drey.

It wasn't a tornado, but heavy winds that caused the massive tree to land on her front porch. Drey and her husband were watching TV in the front room, only feet from the point of impact.

"We got up this morning and had to saw off branches that were sticking in the windows," said Drey.

The basement windows were broken, shingles were hanging from the porch and the front entrance of the house was completely blocked.

Just up the road, a 60-foot pine tree left a gaping hole in another yard. The same storm caused another close call, this time on Crystal Rock Road.

"The wind was whipping so bad, I mean it was roaring through here," said Bonnie Schaeffer, who compared the wind to Hurricane Sandy.

Schaeffer and her boyfriend, John Young, said luck was on their side. Had the tree fallen any other way, the damage could have been costly.

"It missed everything. It just fell where it could go. It was lucky because we were waiting for it to come through the house," said Young.

It was one storm that left two couples breathing a sigh of relief and left a lot to clean up.