Berkshire Mall, hit hard by hail, reopens to shoppers

All but 1 vehicle in West Reading police fleet damaged during storm

WYOMISSING, Pa. - Berks County found itself to be the bulls-eye of Thursday's severe weather, taking the brunt of what Mother Nature had to deliver, which included large hail, heavy rain and strong winds.

Friday was a day for the region to begin picking up the pieces and to try to return to normal.

The Berkshire Mall in Wyomissing was back in business a day after it was hit hard by the hail, welcoming shoppers at its normal opening time of 10 a.m.

The mall was forced to close early Thursday afternoon when large hail stones shattered its skylights, sending shoppers running for cover.

No one was injured, but the storm left behind quite a mess to clean up both inside and outside the mall.

Several damaged cars with shattered windshields still sat parked outside the mall Friday morning as crews scoured the lot for broken glass and other debris.

Reading's western suburbs, including Wyomissing, West Reading and Spring Township, were among the areas hit hardest by Thursday's storm, bringing about the need for a PennDOT snow plow to clear a stretch of Route 222 of accumulated hail.

Shoppers at the Broadcasting Square shopping center in Spring Township were sent running for cover in order to avoid being hit by golf-ball sized hail, which hammered hundreds of cars on the parking lot and those traveling on the nearby roads.

"The back window is gone. Two rear-view mirrors are gone and the windshield is all cracked. We've got damage to the headlights and the bumpers, everything," said Kristine Wenrich, of Wyomissing.

"The dents are unbelievable. It's unbelievable. I've never seen anything like that in my life," said Nancy Perno, of Wyomissing.

West Reading's police chief told 69 News that all but one of his department's patrol vehicles suffered some sort of storm damage, with four of them being put out of commission until repairs can be made.

At the nearby Reading Public Museum, a window was broken and thousands of plants recently planted by volunteers were damaged. A crew was busy Friday working to clean up the area before a wedding on Saturday.

For those whose homes suffered damage, Allstate Insurance provides some online tips about how to identify the damage and have it repaired.

Tune in to 69 News at 5:30 for live, team coverage of the hailstorm's aftermath.

Images: Hail shatters skylights at Berkshire Mall

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