Tornado with preliminary EF-0 rating touched down in Beaver County Saturday, NWS says

BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. — A tornado touched down in Beaver County during Saturday storms, the National Weather Service confirms.

PHOTOS: Pittsburgh region battered by severe thunderstorms on Saturday

After conducting a survey along Pleasant Hills Road near Raccoon Creek State Park in Beaver County on Sunday morning, NWS officials preliminarily rated the brief spin-up tornado from an isolated supercell thunderstorm as an EF-0 with maximum wind speeds of 70-80 miles per hour. Surveyors said they found a small path of tree damage along Pleasant Hills Road and a damaged utility pole. No property damage was found.

Severe storms battered western Pennsylvania again Saturday. The storms produced strong wind gusts and sizeable hail, downing power lines, traffic lights and trees throughout the region. The same supercell storm that produced the tornado produced hail that exceeded golf ball-sized at times.Leslie McElhaney and her husband were still cleaning up after Saturday’s storms.

“We couldn’t even get in the driveway,” McElhaney said.

The National Weather Service said the tornado that touched down in Hanover Township was brief traveling about 500 feet.

“That tree there was just spinning and all the trees for that matter,” said McElhaney.

Though the tornado was weak, the winds were still powerful enough to snap a couple trees in half along Pleasant Hills Road, including one on McElhaney’s front lawn.

“The whole thing, it split in two,” McElhaney said. “Half of it went towards the driveway. The majority of it went over the lines. It pulled the line off our house.”

The tornado then came through her backyard and uprooted a tree crushing the shed.

“When came back and when we came up to here, obviously it was shocking,” McElhaney said. “We’re lucky there wasn’t worse damage.”

McElhaney said she’s thankful she and her husband weren’t home when it hit.

“Our cars would’ve been parked down there, and they would’ve been gone,” she said. “It’s amazing our house is okay and all through the front.”

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