Barns Fall, Schoolhouse Topples as Tornado Touches Down in Lancaster County | NBC 10 Philadelphia
NBC10 First Alert Severe Weather Central

NBC10 First Alert Severe Weather Central

Barns Fall, Schoolhouse Topples as Tornado Touches Down in Lancaster County

Residents of portions of Lancaster County are working to recover after buildings were leveled by a tornado that touched down there during Wednesday night's storms. (Published Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016)

A tornado touched down near Salisbury township in Lancaster County Thursday night, the National weather Service out of State College said Thursday.

Utility crews in central and eastern Pennsylvania continued restoring power to thousands of customers after strong storms downed trees, caused minor flooding and may spawned the EF1 tornado with winds of 100 mph or greater that took a 5 to 6 miles path through Salisbury Township.

The National Weather Service surveyed damage in Lancaster and Bradford counties to determine whether it was caused by tornadoes.

Lancaster County officials reported up to 50 buildings have been damaged, including an Amish school house and chicken barn that were leveled. Most of that damage was near the Chester County border, along a two-mile stretch of Old Philadelphia Pike. The Bradford County damage was centered in Wyalusing.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths. Storm Damage Around Philly RegionStorm Damage Around Philly Region

State police were "doing door-to-door welfare checks to ensure safety and provide whatever assistance is needed," the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday night.

PPL, an electric company, was reporting more than 5,000 customers still without power Thursday, in Lancaster County, but also into several east-central Pennsylvania counties. Met Ed, another utility that serves some of the same area, was reporting dozens of outages, but no clear numbers on how many customers were affected.

Both companies expected to restore service by Thursday night.

PECO was reporting more than 8,000 customers without power in Philadelphia and four surrounding counties and hoped to have them back in service by noon.

One family who lives near a collapsed building in Lancaster County took refuge in their basement during the storm.

"We got alerts on our phone and it was quite unusual," Galen Huyard said. "So we hit the basement and we stayed down there until we thought it was clear."

"We heard a gush of wind and that was about it," said his wife, Caroline Huyard.

The storm was affecting western Pennsylvania differently. Overnight rains turned to intermittent snow on Thursday, but roads weren't immediately impacted because temperatures remained above freezing.

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