Storm cleanup takes longer than expected in Reading

Storm cleanup takes longer than expected in Reading

READING, Pa. - Extensive cleanup efforts are underway following the severe thunderstorm that hit Berks County Tuesday.

"It looks like a war zone," said Karl Ford of Reading.

A downed tree, branches and power lines covered the 400 block of Oley Street in Reading after another severe thunderstorm hit Berks County.

"That is a mess here," said Soby Baez of Reading.

Homes and businesses were hit not once, but twice by mother nature's wrath, including Royer's Flowers & Gifts at the corner of North 5th and Oley streets.

Its greenhouse was destroyed in last Thursday's hail storm. Then Tuesday night, the store lost power after a utility pole snapped in half.

"Makes for a long dark day. Makes it interesting when people are not sure if we are open and it is harder to get your work done when you are working in the dark," said Jenni Eberly, Royer's Flowers & Gifts Manager.

Royer's had a generator running to operate a few lights and computers, while crews worked to cut down trees and restore power.

"It adds to the stress but we are ok," said Eberly.

But farther down in the same block was a downed tree, wrapped in cable lines, that remained sitting for more than 24 hours.

"I cannot even park in my driveway. They could not collect the garbage. So it is frustrating that this is still sitting here," said Ford.

The city of Reading cleared the tree after coordinating with both Comcast and Verizon to move the lines out of the road.

For now, homeowners are hoping and praying this is the last major storm for a while.

"It is like one after another. You cannot breathe before something else occurs. So everyone is feeling a little edgy," said Ford.

Met-Ed replaced the utility pole that snapped and restored power, but crews are still are working to clear the damaged pole and downed lines.

Both of the cable networks are also expected to return on Thursday to cleanup and replace all the downed lines.

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