News

Straight-line winds, rain hit York County

Written by Gordon Rago/York Daily Record | Feb 25, 2016 4:24 AM
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Bystanders watch as emergency crews respond to a water rescue for a car submerged in floodwaters on Freysville Road at Kreutz Creek in Hellam Township on Wednesday. No injuries were reported but at least one family in a nearby mobile home park evacuated as a precaution. A storm on Wednesday swept across much of York County, knocking out power and trees. Jeff Lautenberger, For The York Daily Record

The arriving warm front brought temperatures up to the low 60s.

(York) -- A line of thunderstorms that had forecasters concerned about the potential of tornadoes left thousands in York County without power on Wednesday night, knocking down trees and wires along the way.

"This whole area got hit hard with this storm," Saul Schmolitz, a lieutenant with Union Fire Company, said at the scene of a downed 40-foot pine tree on Park Street in East Manchester Township.

Fire crews were sent to Park Street shortly before 7 p.m. for a report of a structure collapse.

Responding fire engines were blocked from driving up Park Street a couple hundred feet from that home because of the 40-foot tree, Schmolitz said. But they were able to get on scene, and determined a tree had fallen on the home, causing only minor damage. No one was injured.

The trees were most likely knocked over by wind, not lightning, which was also striking across York County, Schmolitz said. The whole area in East Manchester Township was left without power.

Carol Deller, a resident there, said she was watching TV when the storm started.

n Hellam Township, crews responded to Freysville Road at Kreutz Creek for a car submerged in floodwaters. Two water rescue boats were on scene, but not used. Crews on scene said the passengers in the car got out safely.

York County saw more straight-line wind damage, Evanego said. The National Weather Service had no verified reports that a tornado formed.

It was a different story in Lancaster County, he said, where more structures were damaged by winds that could be related to a tornado, though that was not verified Wednesday night.

The weather service will most likely send out people to inspect the damage in Lancaster to determine if a tornado moved through the area. He said the county, especially eastern Lancaster County, saw "fairly strong rotation signatures" on the doppler radar.

The storm moved through the area in a northeastern direction at about 50 mph.

"The thunder cracked and power went out," she said. Deller was moving a mobile home in her driveway, preparing to sleep there for the night with her dogs.

Winds gusts were recorded at 52 mph at York Airport in Jackson Township, said Craig Evanego, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College. The arriving warm front brought temperatures up to the low 60s.

A bald eagle was spotted on the eagle cam at Codorus State Park hanging on in the nest as the winds blew.

The weather service had reports that 1.23 inches of rain fell at the airport through 8:30 p.m., which was around the time the storm moved out of the area.

More than 5,000 residents had no power as of 9:30 p.m., according to Met-Ed power outage reports.

For the most part, the storm was fast-moving and powerful, leaving fire crews across the county with a busy schedule responding to flooded road calls and downed power lines.

*This article is part of a content-sharing agreement between WITF and the York Daily Record.

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