Spring-esque Storm Stomps Across Area

Driving rain, blowing winds, blackouts and balmy temps brought by wild weather system

Is it April 25 or January 25?

It was hard to tell Monday as a strong rainstorm -- one you'd expect to see during springtime -- blew through bringing damage, power outages and headaches.

Wind gusts topped 60 m.p.h. as more than 2-inches of driving rain fell in and around Philadelphia.

Huge trees like the 80-year-old oak that once stood in The Butler's Fitzwatertown Road yard toppled like sticks.

Talisha Butler's dark bedroom became bright as day when the tree split her Upper Moreland Township, Pa. house into two just after 10:30 a.m.

"I can't even begin to imagine how lucky I am and I was knocked out asleep. Next thing I know 'Boom,' white and insulation and tree and water," she said.

Butler's father, who was also home at the time, broke down her door to help her out of the house. Luckily, neither were hurt -- something Talisha calls "a blessing."

The counties to the west of Philadelphia saw the biggest rainfall with some areas almost 3-inches by the time the storm moved on.

In the Lehigh Valley, the powerful storm sucked the electricity from homes and businesses and roads were blocked by floodwaters.

For Rachel Harf's little girl, the storm ruined afternoon TV time and Mac 'n Cheese.

"She keeps asking why we can't watch TV or why she can't play with something or when will I be able to make macaroni and cheese," Harf said.

At the height of the storm, more than 75,000 homes went dark from the mountains to the shore. PECO saw the highest number of outages with more than 35,000.

Flooding was a major concern for authorities in Camden, N.J. after the Copper River spilled over its banks and onto the Admiral Wilson Boulevard.

The road, a major thoroughfare hat connects Philly and Camden with Routes 130, 70 and 38, turned into a lake. Drivers who tried to traverse the waters got a rude awaking as their cars quickly flooded and stalled.

"The water actually did not look that deep," Angela Whittaker said as her car was towed from the water. "And when I got into the water I said 'Uh-oh! This is a little deep.'"

Angela wasn't alone. One woman had to be coaxed from her stalled BMW by firefighters.

"My car is just dead," the unidentified woman told reporters.

A little further south in Gloucester County, students had to be evacuated from Washington Township High School after the roof was ripped off the school's 9th and 10th grade building.

School officials put a shelter in place plan into action and eventually evacuated all students.

The school will be closed on Tuesday as crews work to fix the damaged roof.

Schools were also closed in Atlantic City and Egg Harbor Township due to the wild weather.

If there was a silver lining to Monday's storm, it would the balmy temperatures. The mercury rose to 60 degrees throughout most of the area, providing welcomed relief to winter's freezing cold.

But, that won't last for long. NBC Philadelphia Chief Meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz expected temperatures to plummet towards the freezing mark overnight.

And as this storm moves out to sea, Glenn and the rest of the EarthWatch team are turning their attention to the Gulf of Mexico where another storm is set to roll though by the end of the week. But this time around, we could see snow.

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