May 26, 2011 – Just after 8PM the SCCC advised all emergency services in the county of severe weather containing hail and strong winds in excess of 60MPH entering the western part of Schuylkill County. A line of severe thunderstorms with rotations and possible tornado touchdowns tore through the greater Schuylkill Haven and North Manheim Township areas causing major damage to homes and power equipment. The Schuylkill Haven Fire Department was dispatched to numerous calls throughout the night and early morning hours.
- At 20:28 – Stations 1 & 2 were dispatched to Seven Stars Road for multiple trees and poles down. Fire personnel arrived on scene and found that possible tornado activity occurred with the roof blown completely off the Seven Stars Hotel. Crews conducted residential welfare checks in the area to make sure of no injuries. (Photos over at Schuylkillhose.com)
- At 20:38 Station 4 was dispatched to Berne Drive and removed several trees from the roadway.
- Chief 722 (Sattizahn) and Chief 730 (Reed) requested manpower from Pottsville City to assist with welfare checks and salvage operations.
- Hamburg FD and Pine Grove HH&L were dispatched to the borough to stand by in Station as all Haven units were busy.
- Station 4 was dispatched to Weavers Road/Haven Fair Lawn for trees and wires down. Crews removed and cut multiple trees away from the roadway.
- At 22:15 Engine 733 and Utility 734 were requested to assist Chief 41 in the Cressona Borough with multiple trees, poles and wires down. Crews arrived and began the task of opening up multiple roads due to trees across them. Units also assisted with welfare checks at several residences.
- Station 4 was dispatched to Shady Lane for a large tree blocking the roadway.
- Station 4 was dispatched to Coover Street in the borough for a tree down blocking a residence.
Overall the SHFD ran over 20 calls throughout the night. Fire Police remained on scene and at red lights for almost 48 hours due to the power outages in the area. The SHFD would like to thank the Red Cross, Pottsville FD, Hamburg Fire Department, Pine Grove HH&L, and everyone else who help assisted us on a very busy night.
Radar Image Courtesy of Aimee Peel