Philadelphia tornado watch puts region on alert

A tornado watch was issued for Philadelphia on Wednesday, just a day after the region endured severe weather that brought rain and damaging winds that culminated with a twister touching down northwest of the city. 

The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado hit Morgantown in Berks County on Tuesday night, tearing apart homes and vehicles and uprooting trees. No injuries were reported.

While Philly only saw a tornado watch on Wednesday night, other areas of Pennsylvania had an increased risk of danger. Tornado warnings were issued for Lehigh and Bucks Counties. Areas of New Jersey was also under a tornado watch Wednesday. 

A tornado touched down in Stanhope, N.J. on Tuesday night, causing damage to a school there. Students, parents and staff were at Lenape Valley Regional High School when the twister struck Tuesday, according to reports. The tornado caused downed trees and power lines.

“We sheltered people in place [at the school] until we could establish a safe zone outside,” Stanhope Fire Chief Alan Bookspan told CBS2. “Once we established that there was no danger going on outside the building [and] everything was secure, we evacuated everyone car-by-car, family-by-family until the school was basically empty.”

A waterspout was also spotted in Fortescue, N.J. on Tuesday night.

What to do if a tornado strikes

Go to your basement or the lowest point of your residence. If an underground shelter is not available, move to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.

Stay away from windows.

Avoid places with wide-span roofs, such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways, or shopping malls.

If you are outside, seek shelter inside a sturdy building immediately if a tornado is approaching. 

Being in a vehicle during a tornado is not safe. The best course of action is to drive to the closest shelter or building. If you are unable to make it to a safe building, do not try to outrun a tornado in your vehicle. Either get down in your vehicle and cover your head with your hands, or abandon your vehicle and seek shelter in a low-lying area such as a ditch. Do NOT take cover under an overpass or bridge.

Be aware of flying debris.

Stay tuned to your local radio and television stations for the latest storm information.



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