The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in East Hempfield Township.
The tornado was part of a storm that caused widespread damage in East Hempfield Township and knocked out power to thousands in Lancaster County overnight Tuesday.
National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Martin said the tornado touched down around Lime Spring Farm, which has an address of 2452 Marietta Ave., and cut a path 50 to 75 yards wide. Investigators said the tornado traveled 2.5 miles.
Wind speeds reached 90 to 100 mph. Tornadoes are rated on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which rates their strength based on the damage they cause.
An EF-0 is the weakest type, with wind speeds of 65 mph to 85 mph. The strongest is an EF-5, which has wind speeds of more than 200 mph.
Wednesday’s tornado was rated an EF-1. The last tornado to hit Lancaster County was on Oct. 19, 2012, when an EF-1 tornado twisted across the southern to eastern ends of Lancaster County.
The worst damage was in East Hempfield Township. No injuries were immediately reported.
(The tweet below shows the path of the tornado.)
Winds in East Hempfield were very localized, said Millersville University Meteorologist Eric Horst. The largest gust measured in Millersville was 27 mph; the biggest gust at Lancaster airport was 38 or 39 mph.
According to Horst, 1.86 inches of rain fell in Millersville. Other areas and their rainfall amounts were Lancaster airport, 2.42; York, 1.75; Middletown, 1.83; and Reading, 1.13.
Between 12:30 and 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, East Hempfield police responded to about 40 weather-related incidents.
Township and county emergency management officials contacted the National Weather Service because of the severity of the wind damage.
Winds ripped off part of the side and roof of a warehouse at 499 Running Pump Road. The warehouse contains about 10 separate businesses, according to police.
Yellow insulation and metal siding from the warehouse were blown onto nearby Route 30 and onto several properties in the 2500 block of Marietta Avenue, about a quarter-mile away.
Township officials were working with the building owner to determine the damage to the structure.
At nearby Lime Spring Farm, a massive wooden barn was flattened and trees were downed.
Storm damage, 2500 block of Marietta Avenue. pic.twitter.com/t0gV1qPs1v— Dan Nephin (@dannephinlnp) September 30, 2015
The 2500 block of Marietta Avenue was closed into the afternoon because of trees and wires across the road.
Damage was also reported in the Golden Acres development off Nissley Road, including on Elmae Drive, Harriet Avenue and Cochran Drive.
Several neighborhoods had power outages, and some intersections had been controlled with temporary stop signs.
About 10,000 PPL customers lost power during the storm, PPL spokeswoman Teri MacBride said.
PPL brought in work crews from outside of the area to help repair the damage.
By 10 p.m., PPL was reporting that power had been restored to all but four customers in the county, all in the East Hempfield area.
— Staff Writer Ryan Robinson contributed to this report