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Storms rip through area

  • SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Amanda McLean captured this lightning strike Wednesday night near Miller's Country Store in Franklin  Township.
    SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Amanda McLean captured this lightning strike Wednesday night near Miller's Country Store in Franklin Township.
Published July 24. 2014 04:00PM

Thunderstorms moved through the area Wednesday afternoon and evening, leaving behind fallen trees and wires. One child was injured when lightning struck a chimney near where he was standing.

Just after 4 p.m., lightning struck a brick chimney in Lansford, sending debris onto the roof and nearby sidewalk.

An 11-year-old was standing nearby and was transported to St. Luke's Hospital-Miners Campus in Coaldale for evaluation.

Once the rain became a downpour, scanner reports said that a number of trees had fallen throughout the area.

Crews were out at the 600 and 900 blocks of East Catawissa Street in Nesquehoning, as well as South Allen Street for downed trees and wires.

In the first incident, which occurred around 5 p.m., along South Allen and High streets, a tree uprooted and fell across two parked cars.

Nesquehoning Hose Company Fire Chief John McArdle said that one of the vehicles was able to be freed without any damage; while the other vehicle sustained damage to its rear window.

The road at Market Street was closed by Nesquehoning Fire Police while fire department personnel cut the tree off the car.

At 7:45 p.m., during the second strong storm that pushed through Nesquehoning, a tree fell on the 600 block of East Catawissa, pulling wires down with it.

McArdle said traffic was detoured at the intersection of Hazard and Catawissa and diverted up Center Street until the road intersected with Catawissa near the gas station at the end of town.

One lane was shut down during the incident and larger trucks were not allowed to enter the borough due to the low hanging wires around the Nesquehoning Hose Company building.

Fire crews remained on scene until PPL made repairs and deemed the area safe for tree removal from the roadway. Nesquehoning Fire Police directed traffic.

Power was restored to the affected portion of the borough at approximately 9:45 p.m.

It was also reported that a tree was on the road at Route 209 near the Subway in Jim Thorpe, as well as Chipmunk Trail.

Also in Jim Thorpe, debris covered the street on Lentz Trail and Broadway.

Jane Tkach reported seeing trees down on North Eighth Street in Lehighton.

At the baseball field on Sixth and Coal streets in Lehighton, a roof had blown off a dugout.

Two Lehighton residents, Judy Schaffer and Leanne Bachman, said that trees had fallen on cars. One tree had split in half after falling on a vehicle.

Schaffer and others also reported seeing hail around 9:30 p.m.

David Hauser and Dan Kleintop both reported pea-sized hail was coming down in Franklin Township, around the same time that Kelly Giordano said it was hailing in Nesquehoning.

Giordano said that her home lost power, but it was soon restored.

Bernadette Rosa and Daniel Hunadi, both Nesquehoning residents, said they had lost power too.

Pennsylvania Power & Light reported 230 customers without power in Nesquehoning, along with a handful of other people in the county, including the Mahoning Valley.

The storm subsided late Wednesday night, and forecasts don't show any more severe rain on the way, other than a few thunderstorms possible on Sunday.

Regardless, residents should know how to prepare for a hailstorm.

According to the Safe America Foundation, there are precautions to be taken, whether you are in an automobile or a building during a hailstorm.

If you are in a car, stop driving, and park your car inside a garage, under an overpass or under some type of awning.

To prevent a concussion, don't leave the vehicle, but protect your face with clothing and lay down with your back toward the windows.

If you're in a building during a hailstorm, also remain indoors and avoid windows until the hail has completely stopped.

Amy Miller contributed to this report.

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