Delaware County residents clean up after storm; county declares state of emergency [photos]

    More than 300,000 residents in the Delaware Valley are still reeling following the fierce thunderstorms that ripped through the area on Tuesday night.

    In Delaware County, which declared a state of emergency,  many spent Wednesday cleaning up debris and trees uprooted by gusts that clocked as high as 75 mph.

    Dale Reynolds of Brookhaven said he watched as his house was pummeled by the vicious storm. It passed quickly, he said, but it left a trail.

    “The winds blew all the trees and knocked everything down for us, man,” Reynolds said. “We took a major hit. I’m back cleaning my house up right now, man. It’s crazy. I’m telling you.”

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    As Reynolds and other residents picked up the pieces, PECO trucks zipped around from problem to problem. Many major street lights were out. Big wood chippers were on the side of streets, chewing up fallen trees. And scores of businesses were closed due to lack of power.

    Delaware County officials, who said they will seek state aid to deal with damage from the storm, said the 75-mph winds that tore through the region were the fifth strongest on record.

    Around 145,000 customers in Delaware and Chester counties were still without power Wednesday evening. Service is expected to be restored by Friday night, but for some, it might take longer.

    Around 500 workers from various states and 200 are contractors will be on the job to help out with restoring normalcy to the region.

    The storms claimed the life of a 15-year-old girl who was on a church camping trip in the Allegheny National Forest in Northwestern Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia, police said four people were hospitalized following a building collapse in the Fishtown section.

    Though the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning, no reports of twister activity have been officially confirmed.

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