The National Weather Service in State College, Pennsylvania, confirmed that a tornado touched down in St. Thomas Township in Franklin County on Friday around 7:10 p.m.
Resident Linda Kauffman lives next door to C&R Produce, a family business on Lincoln Way West, that suffered extensive damage.
On the night the tornado hit, Kauffman says her alarm alerted her. She looked outside her window and describes what she saw: “All I seen was some telephone poles, up out of the ground in the air. The telephone pole sort of come towards me, coming at my way and all of a sudden they just plumped- right across the road.”
A storm survey team from the National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-2 tornado struck the area, with estimated wind speeds of 120 miles per hour.
Several homes and commercial buildings sustained wind damage near Summerswood Drive.
“I was stunned, because I thought, I don’t know what it is, but I hope that telephone pole don’t come right at my house. That’s what I was thinking,” said Kauffman.
The tornado is reported to be the first to hit Franklin County since 2012. There were no injuries reported.
The Weather Service also confirmed an EF-1 tornado in Knobsville, Fulton County with estimated maximum wind speeds of 100 miles per hour.
Residents in St. Thomas are now helping each other rebuild.
“I just said, the good Lord above had his hands on me and that’s why I say my prayers every night before I go to bed,” said Kauffman.