Microburst Storm Damages Reported in Pennsylvania, Virginia

July 10, 2012

The National Weather Service says a violent storm that downed trees, damaged homes and left 1,200 residents without power in west-central Pennsylvania this past Saturday, July 7, was a microburst, not a tornado.

The Punxsutawney Spirit reports the areas hardest hit were Sykesville and Henderson Township, both about 75 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

No injuries were reported in the storm, which contained violent winds and quarter-sized hail. Several homes were damaged either by wind or by trees that fell onto them.

The storm hit about 5:30 p.m. last Saturday and lasted only about 15 minutes. Power had been restored to the area by late last Sunday.

The Associated Press also reports that The National Weather Service stated a severe storm in Spotsylvania County in Virginia that destroyed a gymnasium on July 8 was a microburst.

A Spotsylvania County fire official says it’s a miracle that no one was seriously injured when a storm destroyed a gymnasium and damaged several other buildings.

Spotsylvania County Volunteer Fire Department assistant chief Mark Kuechler says at least 20 people were inside the Cheer Fusion gym when the storm struck this past Sunday. Seven girls suffered minor injuries.

Kuechler tells media outlets that the storm tore the building’s roof off and collapsed the cinder block walls. Strong wind and falling trees damaged several other homes and buildings.

The National Weather Service also said a microburst caused major damage in the New Hampshire town of Tilton last week where several trees came down on homes and parked vehicles.

Officials say 30 homes were damaged in last Wednesday night’s storm and 12 people spent the night at a hotel. There were no injuries.

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