TARENTUM, Pa. (KDKA) – The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado tore through Allegheny County this morning.
We are confirming that a tornado occured near Tarentum in Allegheny County early this morning. A meteorologist is en route to conduct a full tornado survey, with further details on this tornado being sent later today in a follow up message. See: https://t.co/6QPjQ0BArB
— NWS Pittsburgh (@NWSPittsburgh) April 8, 2020
They also confirmed an EF0 tornado touched down in Lower Burrell.
“We can confirm a tornado occurred after reviewing radar data last night,” said NWS Pittsburgh Meteorologist Matthew Kramar.
Matthew Kramar with the National Weather Service surveyed the damage this afternoon and did what he could to keep his distance from the public due to the coronavirus.
“We are trying to do as much surveying as we can remotely or using photographs and video provided from emergency management community or the public,” said Kramar.
The National Weather Service said the EF1 tornado touched down from 1:11 a.m. to 1:18 a.m. The estimated peak winds were 100 miles per hour.
The path length was also 4.1 miles with a max width of 150 yards.
Kramar said radar suggests the tornado could have started as far northwest as the Russellton area. He is still trying to determine its track and says the storm moved through the area at 65 mph in just a matter of seconds.
Tarentum resident Sara Kiley says when a large tree fell just a few feet from her home, she said she wasn’t sure what it is.
“Felt like this rumble and I couldn’t tell if it was the train, because the train comes through and it’s just a rumble, but I was like, ‘that can’t be the train,'” she told KDKA’s Lisa Washington.
A few blocks away, there were more downed trees and data lines.
KDKA’s AMY WADAS REPORTS —
Lenora Jones has lived in her home for 40 years and says this was the first time she felt it shake.
“Oh I was scared to death, I didn’t go back to sleep for a long time last night,” she says.
More photos of damage from the area on Days Run Road in East Deer Township show even more downed trees. KDKA’s Amy Wadas was on the scene as residents were cleaning up the damage.
Cleanup was also taking place at Allegheny Textile Services in Tarentum.
“When the storm came through, it ripped up the metal roof and when it did it pulled some of the beams up that’s how powerful it was,” said Owner and President of Allegheny Textile Services Laura Ford.
Damage everywhere including here at Allegheny Textile Services in Tarentum, an essential business. Part of the roof was blown off. Join me live at 4, 5 and 6 on @KDKA with the latest on the clean-up and more from the @NWSPittsburgh on the tornado that touched down. pic.twitter.com/k95BDprnir
— Amy Wadas (@AmyWadas) April 8, 2020
The wind lifted up a heavy sheet and dumped it into her next door neighbor’s yard. Ford’s business is considered essential. It produces linens for nursing homes, doctors offices and restaurants, but was closed Wednesday because power was out.
One by one, trees across the area were being sawed away after storms knocked them over during the night. Storms also knocked down trees in Penny Lentz’s backyard in New Kensington.
“Wind like I never heard before,” said Lentz.
She said the winds were so strong she ran to safety.
“I went into the hallway where all the doors were closed and I sat there for a few minutes until the noise subsided,” said Lentz.
Lentz didn’t hear the trees fall, but when she looked outside, she couldn’t believe what she saw. She saw destruction everywhere.
Thankfully, no one was injured.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.