This web site is an online archive of photographs, stories, and memories of the tornado that swept through Campbelltown, PA on 7/14/2004. You can submit your own pictures or stories to the archive by sending them to archive@PAtornado.com
Storms flatten homes, injure 24 in Pa.
CAMPBELLTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Residents began returning home Thursday under the watch of state police a day after storms damaged at least 50 houses and hurt two dozen people.
Utility crews and insurance adjusters started assessing the damage, and weather experts were on the way to determine whether the thunderstorms had spawned a tornado in this south-central Pennsylvania town of 2,400. ( Related maps: Wednesday's reports of severe weather ; today's thunderstorms forecast )
Ian Zimmerman, who works for a local building restoration company, was waiting for a trash receptacle to arrive as he stood outside a damaged home.
"I've never seen anything like this before," he said.
Melissa and Brian Bucciarelli, who moved into the development in December, had come back after Wednesday's storms to find their house flattened but recovered a photo album from their honeymoon in Italy.
"You can't even fathom what you do next," said Melissa Bucciarelli, 29.
Among the injured, one woman remained hospitalized in critical condition.
At least 30 homes in the neighborhood were leveled or appeared uninhabitable, and at least 20 sustained some damage, said Daniel Kauffman, acting director of the Lebanon County Emergency Management Agency.
Tornado warnings had been posted, and funnel-cloud shaped formations were reported, but authorities couldn't immediately confirm that a twister had formed.
About 100 miles to the east, meanwhile, about 200 residents of Lumberton, N.J., were also returning home Thursday after being evacuated because heavy flooding.
The town and surrounding Burlington County, which stretches east from Philadelphia through the south-central part of the state, received an additional one-quarter to one-half inch of rain late Wednesday, following torrential rains Monday and Tuesday that burst a dozen small dams and forced more than 750 people from their homes.
A flood watch was posted until Thursday afternoon for Pemberton Township as authorities monitored a storm-battered dam on Rancocas Creek that was in danger of collapse.
In the Louisville area, about half of the 115,000 homes and businesses that lost power in strong storms Wednesday were still without it Thursday morning, and some may not get it back until next week, Louisville Gas & Electric said.
At their peak, power outages numbered in the hundreds of thousands statewide as the straight-line winds, reaching sustained gusts of 80 mph, toppled trees and power lines. In Louisville, some officials said the outages were the worst since devastating tornados 30 years ago.Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed
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