CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – The tornado that touched down in Cranberry Township was considered the weakest on the scale, an EF0.
Despite that, the strength of the winds knocked down massive trees in the area.
The clouds began rotating and the winds picked up. While it only lasted a few moments, the damage was done.
“You could see the funnel cloud coming down and you could see debris, papers and it looked like a chair or two floating through the air,” Larry Chappell said.
“There was a severe thunderstorm going on. There was an active alert issued by the National Weather Service,” Jeff Schueler, of Cranberry Township Public Safety, said.
After people emerged from their homes, what they saw was pretty alarming. With the ground saturated from the all the rain, the 60 to 70 mph winds from the storm easily knocked down trees.
“One of those trees ended up on a residence. We had numerous areas where there were branches down,” Schueler said. “We discussed whether we should open the emergency operations center, but the damage was so localized and it wasn’t severe enough that we did not have to open the emergency center.”
The National Weather Service estimated the path of the tornado was roughly a mile-and-a-half.
Most of the damage consisted of just trees knocked down. Schuler said they had a full response by emergency crews.
“We called out Public Works crews to help with the tree cleanup. By the time they were able to respond, the fire department had already cut some of the trees away from the roadways,” he said.
No one was hurt and Schuler thanked the widespread alert for keeping people safe.
“When they do put an alert out, to follow all the instructions and seek safe shelter,” he said.
While people in Cranberry Township continue to clean up, the National Weather Service said in the area they monitor, there have been two tornadoes so far this year and we average between four and six.