The Campbelltown, PA F3 Tornado of July 14, 2004

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Jim

Wilmington, DE

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#1
Jul 29, 2009
 
A strong F3-tornado ripped through the County Squire Estates sub-division in southern Lebanon County during the early afternoon of July 14, 2004.

Over 100 homes completely destroyed, or severely damaged.

Multiple injuries (one critical), but no deaths.

The meteorological conditions were favorable for severe thunderstorms.

However, they were not excessive as we have seen in larger (widespread) tornado outbreaks like May 31, 1985, May 31, 1998, and June 2, 1998.
Jim

Wilmington, DE

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#2
Jul 29, 2009
 
Public Information Statement on the Damage Survey at Campbelltown:

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STATE COLLEGE PA
345 PM EDT THU JUL 15 2004

...STRONG F3 TORNADO CONFIRMED IN LEBANON COUNTY...

A SURVEY TEAM SENT BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STATE COLLEGE CONFIRMED TODAY THAT THUNDERSTORMS SPAWNED A STRONG F3 TORNADO DURING THE AFTERNOON OF WEDNESDAY JULY 14 IN SOUTHERN LEBANON COUNTY.

THE TORNADO FIRST TOUCHED DOWN AT 3:05 PM EDT...ABOUT 1 MILE WEST OF THE TOWN OF CAMPBELLTOWN IN FAR WESTERN LEBANON COUNTY. THE TORNADO TRAVELED EAST...AND STRUCK A HOUSING DEVELOPMENT ABOUT ONE QUARTER MILE SOUTH OF ROUTE 322. A TOTAL OF 32 HOMES WERE DESTROYED...WITH ANOTHER 37 HOMES SUSTAINING SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE. AN ADDITIONAL 50 HOMES IN THE AREA WERE DAMAGED BY DOWNBURST WINDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE THUNDERSTORM THAT SPAWNED THE TORNADO. NINE OR MORE FARM BUILDINGS WERE ALSO DAMAGED.

THE TORNADO CONTINUED ALONG A PATH TO THE EAST FOR SEVEN AND ONE HALF MILES. THE TORNADO CROSSED ROUTE 322 WEST OF MOUNT PLEASANT...AND CONTINUED EAST...MAINLY ACROSS FIELDS...UNTIL IT LIFTED UP ABOUT 2 MILES NORTHWEST OF THE TOWN OF CORNWALL AT 3:15 PM EDT. THE WIDTH OF THE TORNADO WAS ONE QUARTER MILE. ALTHOUGH THE TORNADIC DAMAGE WAS CONFINED TO THE PATH DESCRIBED...ADDITIONAL DAMAGE OCCURRED OUTSIDE THIS PATH...AGAIN ASSOCIATED WITH DOWNBURST WINDS FROM THE PARENT THUNDERSTORM.

WINDS WERE ESTIMATED BETWEEN 175 AND 200 MPH...MAKING THIS A STRONG CATEGORY 3 TORNADO ON THE FUJITA SCALE. FOR REFERENCE:

F0 - 40 TO 72 MPH WINDS
F1 - 73 TO 112 MPH WINDS
F2 - 113 TO 157 MPH WINDS
F3 - 158 TO 206 MPH WINDS
F4 - 207 TO 260 MPH WINDS
F5 - 261 TO 318 MPH WINDS

THE TORNADO INJURED 24 PERSONS...ONE CRITICALLY. NO DEATHS HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE STORM.

THE AMERICAN RED CROSS OPENED A MASS CARE CENTER...WHERE OVER 50 PEOPLE REQUIRED ASSISTANCE WITH SHELTERING. BETWEEN 25,000 AND 30,000 CUSTOMERS LOST POWER IN LEBANON AND BERKS COUNTIES AS A RESULT OF THE STORMS.
Jim

Wilmington, DE

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#3
Jul 29, 2009
 
This is the Tornado Warning that was issued for the Campbelltown, PA F3 Tornado of July 14, 2004.

WFUS51 KCTP 141859
TORCTP
PAC075-141945-

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STATE COLLEGE PA
259 PM EDT WED JUL 14 2004

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STATE COLLEGE PA HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
LEBANON COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA

* UNTIL 345 PM EDT

* AT 256 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WITH STRONG ROTATION NEAR CAMPBELLTOWN...OR NEAR HERSHEY...MOVING EAST AT 45 MPH. THIS DANGEROUS STORM COULD PRODUCE A TORNADO AT ANY TIME.

* THE TORNADO IS EXPECTED TO BE NEAR...
ANNVILLE AND CLEONA AROUND 305 PM EDT...
CORNWALL AND LEBANON AND SAND HILL AROUND 310 PM EDT...
MYERSTOWN AROUND 315 PM EDT...
KLEINFELTERSVILLE AND RICHLAND AROUND 320 PM EDT...

FOR YOUR PROTECTION FROM THE DAMAGING WINDS OF A TORNADO...GO TO A BASEMENT OR A SMALL INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS.

PLEASE REPORT HAIL...STRONG WINDS OR WIND DAMAGE TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BY CALLING TOLL FREE...1-877-633-6772.

LAT...LON 4036 7664 4021 7658 4032 7618 4045 7637

ONDREJIK/JUNG

$$
Jim

Wilmington, DE

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#4
Jul 29, 2009
 
I was actually listening to my Noaa Weather Radio during the time the Tornado Warning was issued for the Campbelltown, PA F3 Tornado of July 14, 2004. I actually have it recorded on a cassette tape. This is how it was broadcasted over Noaa Weather Radio. These are the actual words that were said.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STATE COLLEGE PENNSYLVANIA HAS ISSUED A.

TORNADO WARNING FOR...
THE FOLLOWING COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA...
LEBANON.

UNTIL 3:45 PM EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME.

AT 2:56 PM...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WITH STRONG ROTATION NEAR CAMPBELLTOWN...OR NEAR HERSHEY...MOVING EAST AT 45 MILES PER HOUR. THIS DANGEROUS STORM COULD PRODUCE A TORNADO AT ANY TIME.

THE TORNADO IS EXPECTED TO BE NEAR...
ANNVILLE...AND CLEONA...AROUND 3:05 PM...
CORNWALL...AND LEBANON...AND SAND HILL AROUND 3:10 PM...
MYERSTOWN AROUND 3:15 PM...
KLEINFELTERSVILLE...AND RICHLAND...AROUND 3:20 PM.

FOR YOUR PROTECTION FROM THE DAMAGING WINDS OF A TORNADO...GO TO A BASEMENT OR A SMALL INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS.

PLEASE REPORT HAIL...STRONG WINDS OR WIND DAMAGE TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BY CALLING TOLL FREE...1. 877. 633. 6772.
FievelJ

Lancaster, PA

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#5
Apr 29, 2011
 
I don't know if you even visit this anymore, but I was standing on the porch of 3685 Hill Church RD, on that day. When it appeared it was really gonna get windy, I stepped inside. It was only then, that it struck me, that that this seemed like what I'd heard many times... but never seen. I was shaking slightly, hoping that I would see or hear it on time to go downstairs. Out on the valley, toward Gretna, and inside of lighting, I thought I saw something which looked like a tornado. The black skies, which I saw prier, I can't say I ever saw before... at least not to that extent. The breeze before it, was colder then I'd ever felt, for a summer storm. I can't even explain it, the way I felt. I just kind of knew though, there was a tornado nearby, somewhere. When I thought I saw its outline, I felt as though, that that confirmed it. After turning back on the P4 and the Athlon, Weather Bug was chirping. It was still in a way, hard to believe, that I'd actually witnessed part of that twister. Wedge like, but not the core. The core was visible inside of lighting, for barely a brief enough moment, that I caught it in my brain. Appeared more tightly wrapped, then the form outside of it. Tightly wrapped, not straight.
Appeared almost like a drunken line.

Anyways.. ty for reading, if any1 does read this.
Jim

Dover, PA

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#6
Aug 4, 2012
 
FievelJ wrote:
I don't know if you even visit this anymore, but I was standing on the porch of 3685 Hill Church RD, on that day. When it appeared it was really gonna get windy, I stepped inside. It was only then, that it struck me, that that this seemed like what I'd heard many times... but never seen. I was shaking slightly, hoping that I would see or hear it on time to go downstairs. Out on the valley, toward Gretna, and inside of lighting, I thought I saw something which looked like a tornado. The black skies, which I saw prier, I can't say I ever saw before... at least not to that extent. The breeze before it, was colder then I'd ever felt, for a summer storm. I can't even explain it, the way I felt. I just kind of knew though, there was a tornado nearby, somewhere. When I thought I saw its outline, I felt as though, that that confirmed it. After turning back on the P4 and the Athlon, Weather Bug was chirping. It was still in a way, hard to believe, that I'd actually witnessed part of that twister. Wedge like, but not the core. The core was visible inside of lighting, for barely a brief enough moment, that I caught it in my brain. Appeared more tightly wrapped, then the form outside of it. Tightly wrapped, not straight.
Appeared almost like a drunken line.
Anyways.. ty for reading, if any1 does read this.
Thank you so very much for sharing!!
Future tornado chaser

Pittsburgh, PA

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#7
Jul 25, 2013
 
I vividly remember this storm. i was 12 years old at the time and my family and i were on vacation at hershey Pa. They were predicting strong storms for the area that day but didn't think to much about it all i wanted to do was go swimming at the pool all day. we was at a hotel in between hershey and Campbelltown but more closer to hershey. at around 2pm (i think) we just got back the museum and it was cloudy with sun coming through the clouds and i wanted to go swimming in the outdoor pool, when suddenly it just got dark with lightning and thunder. during the storm it got as dark as night. i was always afraid of storms growing up and seeing the tornado warning on the tv just terrified me. i will never forget it.

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