Officials say more information including an estimated intensity of the tornado and distance of its path would be released later Thursday.
The National Weather Service is working to determine whether a tornado touched down Wednesday night in northeastern Pennsylvania, where a severe storm pounded Wilkes-Barre Township, ravaging businesses, flipping U-Haul trucks and downing trees and power lines. In Bradford County, damage was reported in three neighboring townships, but emergency personnel said there were no reports of injuries.
A powerful storm damaged the Panera Bread restaurant in the Arena Hub shopping area in Wilkes-Barre Township, Pa., on Wednesday.
In the city of Wilkes-Barre, damage was reported in the area of the Wyoming Valley Mall while the area was under a tornado warning.
Emergency crews from across the region raced to the township, the station reports, adding that the American Red Cross was on-scene assisting first responders and others.
Storm damage in Wilkes-Barre.
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The Wilkes-Barre Township Police Department posted on Facebook that there were "multiple collapsed/damaged buildings" in the area of Mundy Street, and asked drivers to avoid the area.
According to the NWS, the tornado, classified as a category EF2, touched down around 10 p.m. near Mundy Street and Highland Park Boulevard by the Wyoming Valley Mall.
"I was washing dishes in the back, my manager had us secure the doors", Isles said.
Bruno Isles, an employee at the Panera in a hard-hit shopping center, told The Times Leader that the cafe "had tables and chairs flying through the windows".
Aerial view of the damage in Wilkes Barre Pennsylvania.
Township Police Chief Ron Smith said the six injured people suffered only minor wounds and were not hospitalized.