A similar dangerous tornado was confirmed near New Hope, Pa. 10 minutes later, the NWS reported. At around 7:20 p.m., a confirmed tornado was spotted near the Neshaminy Mall in Bensalem.
Fred Harran, director of public safety for the Bensalem Township Police Department, said the tornado struck along the Old Lincoln Highway. A car dealership was right on the way to the storm.
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“We heard that loud bang in the middle of the parking lot and it blew through the windows. She’s been through it all, ”said Victor Rivera.
? s = 20Rivera was inside the Faulkner Mazda dealership in Trevose when the 4400 block of Street Road quickly became point zero.
Cars were seen overturned in parking lots and a roof structure ripped off the property.
“It was a devastating tornado that caused a lot of structural damage in this area,” Harran said.
“My mom got under the table and I just held her in my arms,” Rivera said. “I saw the glass implode and the ceiling crumble from there. “
The windows of the neighboring Volvo dealership were also blown out and part of the roof detached from the Buick building.
Harran says at least five people sustained non-life threatening injuries Thursday night.
“You just have to watch a bomb go off, I mean it’s gone,” Harran said of the damage.
First responders assisted employees and customers on site as fire crews secured buildings and PECO rushed to shut off gas.
Behind the dealerships, parts of the Penn Valley mobile home park were nearly razed to the ground. The storm uprooted trees and knocked down power lines near the mobile home of David Paniagua’s family.
“There were literally trees everywhere. It was everywhere, it honestly looked like the tornado in the movie, ”said Paniagua.
Several road closures are in effect until further notice. The current list includes a complete closure of Street Road from Richlieu Road to Trevose Road; Old Lincoln Highway from Route 1 to Bristol Road; The Linconia Park area has also been closed to all traffic.
The Red Cross has a team of rescuers assembled at the Neshaminy Mall in Bensalem Township, Bucks County, working with government partners and affected residents to determine what their needs are after tonight’s devastating tornado.
Currently, anyone in need of shelter can visit the Neshaminy Mall, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or call Bensalem Police at (215) 633-3719.
Thirty minutes north, Matt Maximuck, owner of a 100-acre farm in Buckingham, said the storm looked like a freight train.
In nearby Plumstead, a giant 50- to 60-foot tree crashed into a garage as a frightened owner sat nearby.
“It was like a bomb had gone off, things were hitting the house. It was very scary, ”said Virgina Sodi.
The National Weather Service will be on scene Friday in the Philadelphia area to assess damage from the storm.
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