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Big Storm Hits Hard in Monroe County

Violent winds cause destruction throughout county

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - Violent winds left a mess at a cabin behind Barts Bar & Grill in Jackson Township.

"It's a disaster. Trees came crashing through the roof, the electric wires are on the floor," says Mario Bermeo of Barts Bar & Grill.

Down the road, strong gusts ripped the roof right off a firehouse. But the storm wasn't through yet with Jackson Township's Volunteer Fire Company.

The winds also blew a fire engine off the road.

"As they went to make a turn onto a road, a gust of wind came and blew the truck off into a ditch," explains Second Assitant Chief Mike Wisniewski, Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company.

The engine crashed while firefighters were responding to help one of their own. Their member's house was on fire. Joseph Sciabica says his loss is still sinking in.

He adds, "it is very devastating. I don't wish this on nobody."

Monroe County's Control Center was overwhelmed with 911 calls about downed trees, snapped wires, crashes and several major fires.

"We had hundreds of calls from people who were stranded on Interstates 80, 380. A lot of them were in the car 20-24 hours," explains Bruce Henry, Director, Monroe County EMA.

The interstate was shut down and side roads were gridlocked. Many people who were home lost power and cell service.

"It was just the perfect storm, if you will," Henry says.

County organizations will come together for an 'after action meeting' to discuss how the storm was handled, and if anything could have been done differently.

"We kept up with it pretty well," Henry adds,

The Jackson Township Fire Hall will remain closed until the building is deemed safe. That means the weekly bingo, which serves as a major fundraiser, is canceled until further notice.


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