Strong storms cause floods, 1 death in Pennsylvania

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — Strong storms hit pockets of western and central Pennsylvania early Friday, bringing up to 7 inches of rain, turning roads into rivers, damaging homes in communities as far as 150 miles apart and killing one person.

Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the state’s National Guard to help in the recovery efforts after the storms left a path of destruction, downing power lines, destroying vehicles, damaging railroad beds and triggering mudslides.

The (Lock Haven) Express reported a man was killed Thursday night in Clinton County when a tree crashed down on his home.

Winds there had reached up to 100 mph, said National Weather Service meteorologist Craig Evanego.

Flash floods swept away at least two homes in Sullivan County, west of Scranton, according to WNEP-TV . Hundreds more were damaged in Centre County, home to Penn State’s main campus.

“It’s been quite a day,” said Centre County Commissioner Steven Dershem.

The storm brought some of the worst damage the Bald Eagle Valley of central Pennsylvania has seen since Hurricane Ivan brought downpours to the area in 2004, Dershem said. As of Friday morning, about 100 people were displaced, including about three dozen residents from a personal care home, he said.

John D. Yingling, director of Lycoming County’s department of public safety, had launched its nine boat teams to help residents and survey the damage with area bridge inspections and road assessments.

Lycoming County was among the hardest hit, and storms there wiped out the Wallis Run Road bridge across the Loyalsock Creek in Mountoursville, said PEMA spokeswoman Ruth Miller.

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