Watch CBS News

National Weather Service Determines EF-2 Tornado Left Path Of Destruction In Berks County

MORGANTOWN, Pa. (CBS) -- The National Weather Service determined an EF-2 tornado touched down in Berks County on Tuesday night, leaving destruction in its path. An EF-2 tornado produces wind speed between 111 to 135 mph.

Morgantown is about 20 minutes south of Reading and one of the hardest hit areas in Berks County. Some people say they feared for their lives during the storm, which passed through here in about 30 seconds.

The sound of chainsaws replaced wake-up alarms for people in Morgantown's Valley Pond community. Cleanup and repair crews got an early start on Lexington Way the morning after a tornado touched down there just after 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

Strong winds left a trail of destruction, scattering debris, shattering windows and uprooting fences and trees.

"It's pretty bad. From past experiences, this is probably the worst I've ever seen," said Jake Schultz, with Newcastle Lawn and Landscape.

For most people, it was their first encounter with such a powerful storm.

"We've never had anything like this before, never. We've been here 15 years," said Morgantown resident Tom Taylor.

PPL utility crews managed to restore power to the community within a few hours. Still, some like Tom Wetzel, whose home was extensively damaged, will have to stay elsewhere for a while.

"The holes that are in the roof that are pretty big, but yeah, there's a beam in the middle of our living room. Insulation is everywhere," Wetzel said.

Morgantown Tornado
(credit: CBS3)

Though many of his possessions are destroyed, Wetzel said he still feels lucky being able to get his kids to safety in the nick of time.

"I got to watch the window explode in on us, while we were shutting the bathroom door. I have two kids and a cat and they're all fine," Wetzel said.

Greg Huss is cleaning up the mess left behind as siding from his home hangs in trees.

"The house was actually moaning as the wind went through. We thought we were going to lose the top of the house at one point," said Huss.

Bill Pyle said his home was condemned after part of his roof is missing and a wall was blown out.

"Every bedroom has a lead in the top floor," Pyle said.

Morgantown officials say anyone who has damage should report it at the municipal building. They also have staff on hand to help.

CBS3's Trang Do and Matt Petrillo contributed to this report.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.