Isaias delivers at least 5 tornadoes to Philadelphia region

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — At least five tornadoes spawned by Tropical Storm Isaias moved through the Philadelphia region on Tuesday. 

The National Weather Service has confirmed tornadoes touched down in Bucks and Montgomery counties in Pennsylvania and Cape May and Ocean counties in New Jersey. Another tore through Delaware.

Montgomery County

In Montco, the twister hit a neighborhood along Heebner Road between Valley Forge Road and Hollow Road.

Patty Spera says she stepped out on her back porch as the winds whipped up. Her neighbor across the street, Joe Cifelli, described the wind but said he never saw a funnel cloud.

"I saw the swirling wind," he said. "I was in the rear of my home, and could see the wind whipping around. It came around my house. It took out these big oak and maple trees and went down that lane."

Soccer goal posts and bleachers were scattered around Heebner Park on Wednesday.Mike Evans, who lives across the street from the park, says it’s fortunate the tornado took the path it did and didn’t hit any houses.“I think it would have done some pretty good damage, from what I see," he said, pointing to some trees. "The guy they named this road after planted them 50 years ago. It mowed them off like a lawn mower."

— Jim Melwert (@JMelwert) August 5, 2020

Bucks County

In Bucks, the most affected area was near Doylestown Hospital, and officials are looking at damage stretching from an area near Franklin Mills Mall in Northeast Philadelphia to Doylestown.

The tornado knocked down stop signs and flipped cars on top of each other in the hospital's parking lot.

Possible #tornado in Doylestown. This is the parking lot of Doylestown Hospital. ⁦

— Paul Kurtz (@kurtzpaul) August 4, 2020

Laura Batista, a medical equipment account executive, was in the cafeteria of the hospital when she heard a rumble outside.

“I came to the front of the hospital, where my colleagues were standing, and they’re like, 'Oh, a bunch of cars are turned over.' And lo and behold, one of the vehicles was mine," Batista said. "I’m just thanking God that I wasn’t in it at the time." 


Judy Stewart, a hospital nurse, said it came and went in seconds.

“The wind just picked up and pulled the door open. Immediately thereafter, treetops were flying by, pieces of roof were flying by. And then it was over," she said. 

A water spout came ashore in Cape May County. Damage seems to stretch from Strathmere to Marmora.

Eric Weeks was by the inlet bridge connecting Ocean City and Strathmere when he saw the tornado.

“We could see this funnel cloud go through the bay, up towards the marshes, heading toward the parkway. It was quite a sight,” he said.

The NWS will issue a final assessment, indicating the intensity and damage level of each in the next several days. It's possible that damage from additional tornadoes will come to light in the meantime.