WILKES-BARRE,PA-Wilkes-Barre police confirmed an F2 tornado struck a shopping plaza here in Northeastern Pennsylvania late Wednesday evening.
According to the National Weather Service, a severe thunderstorm moved across Luzerne County between 930 and 1030 pm on Wednesday June 13 2018, producing an EF2 tornado in Wilkes-Barre Township around 1000 pm.
The tornado touched down near Mundy Street and Highland Park Boulevard by the Wyoming Valley Mall and traveled about a half mile southeast toward I-81 before dissipating. Numerous roofs were destroyed and windows blown out.
Structures were sheared off near their foundation. Power poles were snapped with numerous lines down.
“Multiple collapsed/damaged buildings area of Mundy Street, drivers are asked to avoid Mundy Street around the Wyoming Valley Mall to allow emergency personal access the area,” the Wilkes-Barre Police Department said in an initial statement.
Police today issued a warning that gawkers need not apply and those stopping along roadways to take pictures will be issued citations.
I-81 SB just before Exit 168, drivers are AGAIN advised that it is illegal to Park or Stand on the shoulder of the road to take pictures. The shoulder is for emergency stopping only. You are creating traffic congestion and slow moving conditions on the interstate along with making yourself a hazard to other vehicles. Multiple drivers have already been cited; others will continue to be cited if necessary.
Mundy Street from Highland Park Blvd to Arena Hub Plaza is still without power including the Wyoming Valley Mall. Access to the area is restricted to emergency personnel and clean up/repair workers only. Power to the mall expected to be back on by the end of the day. The Wilkes-Barre Twp. Commons (containing Target) and Arena Hub Plaza
As daylight hit, we are getting a better view from the air of the damage that was left behind after a possible tornado came through Luzerne County late last night. @WNEP #skycam16 pic.twitter.com/yT5W2l8mPv
— Corey Burns (@CoreyBurns27) June 14, 2018