Tornado confirmed in Wilkes-Barre storm, National Weather Service says

Strong storms pounded a shopping plaza in Luzerne County Pennsylvania on Wednesday

Strong storms pounded a shopping plaza in Luzerne County Pennsylvania on Wednesday

The twister in Wilkes-Barre Township, Luzerne County cut a path 200 yards wide for three-quarters of a mile, NWS said after surveying damage Thursday.

Photos and videos on social media showed shattered storefronts and parking lots strewn with debris. Authorities say the stores will remain closed indefinitely.

Only six people were injured in the storm, but a number of businesses at the Wilkes-Barre Township Commons and Arena Hub Plaza had collapsed roofs, broken windows and damages signs.

In the city of Wilkes-Barre, damage was reported in the area of the Wyoming Valley Mall while the area was under a tornado warning.

See more photos of the damage below. Dave Skutnik, the Regional Director of Communications for the Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania said that fortunately, there have been no fatalities, but a "few minor injuries" have been reported so far.

Joy Frie told The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens' Voice that staff and patrons huddled in the kitchen of the bar where she works until they could escape to another business.

Governor Tom Wolf said about 15 businesses sustained at least some structural collapse.

The National Weather Service was also assessing the scene Thursday in an effort to determine if a tornado did in fact touch down, as officials at the scene said they suspected.

"The doors were busting open".

There were reports of homes destroyed, trees and wires down near Bailey Corners Road in Franklin Township.

"There's trucks on top of other trucks, there's cars flipped over, there were some folks trapped", said Wilkes-Barre resident Adrian Kessel.

"We're all working in this together, Luzerne County always stands together", said Pedri.

According to the NWS, the tornado, classified as a category EF2, touched down around 10 p.m. near Mundy Street and Highland Park Boulevard by the Wyoming Valley Mall.

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