Quick, powerful storms hit Philadelphia area
June 24, 2010 (WPVI) -- Residents in the Philadelphia area are recovering from a fast moving storm that left debris, damage, and power outages in its wake.
Tree falls on car with Lansdowne family inside
In Lansdowne, a family returning home from the pool got trapped in the storm, literally.
A massive tree ripped up from the root landed on the family's car on Greenwood Avenue.
Three young girls in the backseat were able to wriggle out the windows and run to get help.
"I didn't know what happened, but then I saw the trunk in the window," 11-year-old Emily Reynolds said.
Meanwhile, 14-year-old Myonie Williamson was trapped with her mother up front; they were forced to duck under the weight of the tree.
Myonie and her mother kept crouched as they talked to each other to stay calm.
When rescue crews arrived, they cut off the door and broke through the windshield to get the two out.
Myonie said the doctor told the family they were very lucky.
Man trapped in shed in West Philly
At the corner of 50th Street and Hazel Avenue in West Philadelphia, a large tree fell onto the street by the side of a parked car. On its way down, the fallen tree brought with it a lamppost and a gutter from a nearby row-home.
Residents say at about 3:30 p.m. the sky turned dark and began unleashing sheets of rain and marble-sized hail. High winds soon joined in.
The winds not only made trees tumble, but also knocked shingles off roofs and caused trouble for many.
In one instance, in the 4900 block of Hazel, a man was trapped inside a shed after a tree fell in his backyard. He began calling for help and neighbors came to his rescue.
"I went over to make sure they were okay because I saw a tree fell in the back of their house; I saw that they were crying and it became clear that someone was back there. He was trapped and couldn't get out," a neighbor told Action News.
According to the neighbor, once rescued, the man was able to walk out. He was not seriously injured.
Roof torn off church in South Philly
Parts of the roof of a South Philadelphia church flew off due to the storm's high winds.
New Light Beulah Baptist Church on 17th and Bainbridge streets lost part of its roof which landed on cars parked along the street.
There were no injuries inside church or on the ground where the roof landed.
Tarp trouble during Phillies game
At Citizens Bank Park, the game started in the heat and the Phillies bats were even hotter, but soon the skies darkened and rain was on the horizon.
The grounds crew made a quick move to the field in the 8th inning. The tarp was dragged across the diamond with seemingly no hassle.
Then the high winds caused a little trouble for the crew, even making a John Deere tractor move along with the tarp.
Once the rains and winds moved out, the game was able to resume after an 1 hour, 37 minutes delay.
The Phillies ended up defeating the Cleveland Indians 12-3.
Delaware & Chester Counties experience a powerful storm
At Frank Videon Funeral Home in Broomall, the cleanup is likely to last days as all over the property, massive trees were reduced to shredded timber.
One tree fell atop the funeral home, splitting one section in half. Another fell on a car, nearly cutting it in two.
All over Delaware and Chester counties were similar scenes, including in Berwyn.
Joanne Lennen's husband was taking a shower when a tree came crashing through the master bathroom. He escaped uninjured; the bathroom did not.
"The tree fell and it missed him by a foot and a half," Berwyn resident Joanne Lennen said.
From private property to well travelled roads like Route 1 in Springfield, the fast, but furious storm left a path of destruction.
The stylists at Elle Hair design had to get resourceful, washing hair by candlelight and cutting it by fading sunlight.
Storm causes major power outages
Nearly 200,000 customers are without power and one regional rail line is shut down after a thunderstorm socked the Philadelphia region.
PECO spokeswoman Cathy Engle says it could take two to three days for crews to restore power to customers in Philadelphia, Chester and Delaware counties.
The storm hit Thursday afternoon and caused major problems for commuters.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority says trees and snapped wires have shut down the R3 regional rail line to Media and Elwyn. SEPTA hopes to have it running again by Friday morning.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
pennsylvania, philadelphia, new jersey, delaware, severe weather, local/state
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