National Weather Service determines Berks tornado to be EF2

 

It's clear by viewing the damage that the tornado that tore through southern Berks County early Tuesday evening packed quite a punch.

Now, the National Weather Service has some facts and figures to offer about the storm. The NWS said it has determined the tornado to be an EF2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, with estimated winds of between 111 and 135 mph.

NWS surveyors, who visited the impacted area Wednesday, are still working to determine the length of the tornado's path and width. Officials said they should have more information to release about that later Wednesday.

The tornado touched down shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday, blowing apart one building on Swamp Road, heavily damaging several homes and cars in the Valley Pond development, and tearing off part of the roof of the Timet plant.

No serious injuries were reported.

"You can repair your car and you can rebuild your house, but you can't rebuild or repair a person or pet, so we're just happy everyone is safe and alive," said Cori Foltz.

By comparison, the tornado that ripped apart the Blue Mountain Adventist Elementary School in Tilden Township, near Hamburg, in July 2015 was determined to be an EF1.

The tornado that devastated Lyons in May 1998 was an F3 on the original Fujita Scale, with wind speeds of 158 to 206 mph.

Berks and all other counties in southeastern and central Pennsylvania are under a tornado watch until 8 p.m. Wednesday.

HAPPENING NOW: @NWS_MountHolly is on site surveying the area where the tornado is believed to have first touched down. @69News pic.twitter.com/5rMz04QpyV

-- Jim Vasil (@JimVasilWFMZ) May 29, 2019