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Tornadoes confirmed in area

Published May 25. 2011 05:00PM

The storm that swept through Franklin Township and damaged 11 homes Monday evening, spawned a low-level tornado.

The storm, which also heavily damaged multiple properties in Walker Township, about a half-hour earlier that night, also produced a twister.

The National Weather Service in Mount Holly, N.J., has confirmed that an EF-0 tornado, with winds up to 75 miles per hour, briefly touched down in Franklin at about 7:25 p.m. Monday.

The tornado damaged about a dozen homes, a church and baseball field in Franklin. One home suffered major structural damage, several other homes experienced minor roof and siding damage, and numerous trees were either knocked down or snapped.

No one was seriously injured.

The EF-O tornado started in the rear yards of Church Street, before it moved toward Penn Street. An EF-O is the weakest tornado, carrying winds of between 65-85 miles per hour.

A funnel cloud was spotted in Walnutport heading toward Palmerton and other parts of Franklin as well.

State Rep. Doyle Heffley said he spoke to Carbon County EMA Coordinator Mark Nalesnik, as well as Carbon County Commissioner Wayne Nothstein about the tornado in Franklin.

"If anybody needs anything, please contact my office if there is anything I can do to assist," Heffley said. "This includes helping with insurance problems or having questions answered."

Heffleyis grateful no one was injured.

"Our hearts and prayers are with everybody there," he said. "Thank God nobody was hurt."

Heffley's office numbers are: Lehighton, (610) 377-6363; Albrightsville (570) 722-8700.

The National Weather Service also confirmed a tornado with winds of up to 95 miles per hour, touched down in Walker.

There, the activity started just after 7 p.m. in the area of Kettle Road and Catawissa Road in Lewistown Valley. A 100-year-old barn was leveled in a matter of minutes.

No injuries were reported there either.

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