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May 20, 2019

Officials assess storm damage in Lancaster County after possible tornado

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0520_NWS Tornado National Weather Service, Mount Holly /Twitter

The map above was shared by the National Weather Service. The area in red shows the portion of Lancaster County that had been placed under a tornado warning Sunday evening.

After a powerful storm uprooted trees, closed roadways, and toppled power lines in Lancaster County, officials on Monday are investigating whether a tornado hit the region.

The National Weather Service in State College announced it had dispatched a team of experts to to assess damage and look for signs of tornado activity. 

On Sunday night, the NWS issued a tornado warning in parts of Berks County and severe thunder storm warnings in multiple areas of central Pennsylvania. The thunderstorms began in Lancaster County just before 8 p.m., culminating in heavy winds, thunder, and frequent lightning. 

Videos of the storm posted to social media showed a possible funnel cloud striking a transformer, followed by flashes of red light. 

By Monday morning, residents were putting photos and videos of the storm and the damage it caused on social media. Some reported roofs had blown off of houses, trees had been uprooted, and roadways were flooded.

Lancaster Online said that more than 500 households were still out of power, as of Monday at 10 a.m. 

The NWS issued a hazardous weather outlook warning until Monday night in Lancaster County as officials are predicting more strong-to-severe thunderstorms with gusty winds and small hail to begin in the afternoon.

In portions of Texas and Oklahoma, officials are warning residents that a potentially long and violent outbreak of tornados and thunder storms are expected to begin Monday and continue into the evening. 

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