Tornado leaves path of destruction behind in Berks County

Mike DeNardo
May 29, 2019 - 7:03 am
Neighbors wake up to tornado damage in the Valley Ponds development of Morgantown, Pa.

Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio


MORGANTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Residents in Morgantown are surveying the damage left behind by a tornado that ripped through the Berks County town Tuesday night.

The National Weather Service is sendign a team to the area to determine the strength of the storm.

The twister did much of its damage in the Valley Ponds community. Wednesday morning's daylight revealed huge trees uprooted like weeds. Cars were lifted and relocated. Sections of roof and shingles and lawn furniture littered the area. 

Judy Slaughter's house sustained only minor damage.

"Some of the siding's gone. All my patio furniture is gone. The tree that's by my front door is split in half," she said.

But she was still shaken to see the destruction in her neighborhood.

"It seemed unreal," she said. "It just seems ... I'm just speechless. To see how the trees are just bent like twigs and broken in half, and the roofs are torn off. And how some sections are so damaged, but others haven't even been touched."

Karen Quartapella said, for her, there was no doubt it was a tornado.

"My husband said maybe it was straight winds, but there was no way. I lived in North Carolina for six years, so you get to see the devastation. It looks like a war zone," she said.

One resident named Becky, who didn't want to give her last name, said she experienced the full force of the tornado.

"I got home about 10 minutes before it hit. I got the dog outside, and I was talking to my son on the phone who lives in North Carolina, and the next thing I know, I'm going, 'Oh my God!' I thought my back windows were breaking. I live right here, and it just basically went right over my house," she said. 

A metal fence around a pool in the development was left crumpled by trees thrown down by the high winds. Work crews have made quick work of clean-up. Crews with chainsaws and woodchippers are on scene to clear the broken trunks and branches.  

Even with all of the property damage, there were no reports of injuries.

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this story, Judy Slaughter's name was misspelled.