“Funnel” sighted before roof collapses in Montco during storm

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As severe storms roared through the region Thursday afternoon, what one onlooker described as a “swirling cloud” ripped the roof off of an office building in West Conshohocken, Montgomery County.


A woman working in the building next door said “she saw a gray cloud, a swirling cloud, touch the roof” of a building occupied by Heraeus Materials Technology, on Clipper Road, said police Chief Michael Sinclair.

No one was injured, Sinclair said, and the 22 employees inside were evacuated safely. But a few cars remained stuck under a large piece detached roof Thursday evening.





Emergency crews responded to the scene at 3:55 pm, Sinclair said.

The damage was isolated; no nearby buildings or trees appeared to be affected by the storm.

Bob Kerprich, general manager of the company – which makes paste for electronics – said the wind picked up just before the roof blew off.




“I had a view of the trees and the trees were bending more than they’ve ever bent before,” he said.

Then, he said, he heard a rumble and began to see debris coming off the roof.

Storm damage of that extent – and the report of a funnel cloud sighting – is “rare,” said West Conshohocken Mayor Joseph Pignoli, who also serves as the borough emergency management coordinator. 




Lance Franck, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly said radar gave no indication that the damage was the result of a tornado.

 






















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1 Philadelphia

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