At 5:50 p.m. a confirmed “dangerous tornado” was spotted near Lumberville, Bucks County moving at 25 mh toward Mercer County, NJ.
A similar dangerous tornado was confirmed near New Hope, Pa 10 minutes later, the NWS said.
Around 7:20 p.m. a confirmed tornado was spotted near the Neshaminy Mall in Bensalem.
Fred Harran, the director of public safety for the Bensalem Township Police Department, said the tornado touched down along the Old Lincoln Highway corridor. A car dealership was right in the storm’s path.
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“We heard this loud bang in the middle of the parking lot and it blew right through the windows. It blew through everything,” said Victor Rivera.
Rivera was inside the Faulkner Mazda dealership in Trevose when the 4400 block of Street Road quickly became ground zero.
Cars were seen flipped in parking lots and a roofing structure was torn off the property.
“This was a devastating tornado that came through as a lot of structural damage in this area,” said Harran.
“My mom got under the table and I just kind of held her in my arms,” Rivera said. “I watched the glass implode and the ceiling kind of caved in from there.”
The windows of the nearby Volvo dealership were also blown out, and the part of the roof lifted off the Buick building.
Harran says at least five people suffered non-life-threatening injuries Thursday night.
“Just look at a bomb went off, I mean it’s gone,” said Harran of the damage.
First responders aided employees and customers on-site while fire crews secured the buildings and PECO rushed to turn off the gas.
Behind the dealerships, parts of the Penn Valley Mobile Home Park were nearly leveled. The storm uprooted trees and brought down power lines near David Paniagua’s family mobile home.
“Literally trees were down everywhere. There was skirting down everywhere, it looked like honestly the movie twister,” said Paniagua.
There are multiple road closures 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 area of Linconia Park has also been closed to all traffic.
The Red Cross has a team of disaster workers gathered at the Neshaminy Mall in Bensalem Township, Bucks County, working with government partners and affected residents to determine what their needs are after this evening’s damaging tornado.
At this time anyone who needs shelter can come to the Neshaminy Mall, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or call Bensalem Police at (215) 633-3719.
Thirty minutes north, Matt Maximuck, who owns a 100-acre farm in Buckingham, says the storm sounded like a freight train.
In nearby Plumstead, a giant 50 to 60 feet tree came crashing down in a garage as a frightened homeowner sat nearby.
“It sounded like a bomb went off, things were hitting the house. It was very scary,” said Virgina Sodi.
The National Weather Service will be on the scene across the Philadelphia region Friday to survey damage from the storm.
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