First Alert

Severe Storms Take Down Trees Throughout Region

Late Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday evening, severe storms with potentially damaging winds moved through the area

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What to Know

  • A First Alert was in effect for our entire region Wednesday through 10 p.m. due to severe storms and sweltering heat.
  • By Wednesday afternoon, temperatures felt like the triple digits in some neighborhoods.
  • Late Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday evening, severe storms with potentially damaging winds moved through the area, taking down trees.

A double threat of triple-digit sweltering heat and powerful storms hit the area on Wednesday, causing trees to topple and power outages in the region.

We saw extreme heat once again with temperatures that felt like 100 to 105 degrees with high humidity by Wednesday afternoon. Some neighborhoods already reported triple-digit feels-like temps by early in the afternoon.

Late Wednesday afternoon, strong to severe storms began passing through the area. A severe thunderstorm watch was issued for the entire region.

The first severe thunderstorm warning of the day for the area was issued for northeastern Northampton County before 3 p.m.

Another severe thunderstorm warning was issued for northwest Berks County and expired at 4:30 p.m. The storms moved through the Philadelphia area around 6 p.m.

Damaging winds took down trees throughout the region. A tree fell on a car on Langdon and Rhawn streets while another tree landed on wires on the 8000 block of Somerdale.

Storms moved through the region on Wednesday, taking down trees and power lines. NBC10's Steven Fisher takes a look at the damage.

"It was just a lot of noise," Bob Schaffer of Rhawnhurst said. "The big tree on Rhawn Street went down and that blew out the transformer on Rhawn Street and took out all the power."

Falling trees and severe weather also led to delays for Amtrak trains traveling between Philadelphia and Washington.

In West Bradford Township a tree split and toppled over onto the side of a house.

"All of a sudden it was like whoosh. It was over just as quick as it started at that point," Shane Supple of West Bradford Township told NBC10. "The tree was already down, the trash cans were knocked over. Then it was done."

Pete Supple, the owner of the home, said only the exterior of the house was damaged but the tree also took down power lines, meaning he'll have to find a way to keep cool until the electricity returns.

"If necessary we'll put on a generator out here to do something," Supple said.

By Thursday morning some power outages remained, but they were not widespread.

Be Ready: The region is also in the midst of a heat wave. Amid the heat, Philadelphia declared its first Heat Emergency of summer for Monday. Philadelphia and other municipalities opened cooling centers to give people a respite from the heat.

Be sure to stay inside a safe place in air conditioning and open windows and use fans if you don't have A/C in your home. If you're using a fan, the EPA warns that windows or a door should be open to the outside; otherwise, you're just recirculating hot air, which is more dangerous.

You should watch for signs of heat-related illness, which include headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue and excessive sweating.

Stay hydrated, too. During a heat health emergency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you drink water even when you're not thirsty.

Don't forget to check in on the vulnerable, including kids and the elderly. The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging will activate its helpline, which is staffed by health care professionals and can deploy a relief team to go check on an individual. The line's number is 215-765-9040.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health released tips that include wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher if outside.

With the coronavirus pandemic, people who do seek relief at pools, beaches or other public places like malls are encouraged to practice social distancing and expect to be required to wear masks if not in the water.

And, AAA Mid-Atlantic is warning people to check the back seat for pets and children when parking in this extreme heat. Their three-step "ACT" system could keep people safe in cars.

AAA Mid-Atlantic has a three-step "ACT' plan to keep your children and pets safe when you park in this dangerous heat.

The First Alert Weather Team will continue to update you on the heat and provide tips for staying cool and safe on NBC10 News and in the NBC10 app.

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