Imagine $15,000 worth of damage happening in less than 10 seconds. It’s possible.
Last week’s twister that shook up a small section of Northeast Philadelphia is leaving a couple of small businesses in recovery mode. Keith Walsh is the manager of Ace High Auto, located off Northeast Avenue in Bustleton. Just before 2 p.m., Walsh and his staff were sitting inside their office enjoying a peaceful lunch break when the twister riddled their bones.
“It got real dark and I heard all kinds of glass breaking behind us. It sounded like a jet engine coming by. It was crazy. I turned around and saw the funnel coming right up the driveway,” Walsh accounted.
While Walsh was thankful that no customers were on the shop’s premises at the time of the twister, he estimated that between $10,000 and $15,000 worth of damage was caused to the building’s exterior.
Ace High Auto was finally able to reopen its doors yesterday morning after being without power for a week. Walsh said the shop’s customers have shown continuous support during this difficult time of rebuilding.
“Our customers are loyal. I’ve actually had four cars that have been sitting here since Wednesday. They told me to just hold onto them,” Walsh said.
Last Wednesday’s twister was classified as an EF0 tornado by the National Weather Service. This marks the ninth tornado to hit the Philadelphia region since 1958. While it may be considered the weakest number on the Enhanced Fujita Scale (the system of measurement for tornados), an EF0 twister can still pack a punch with winds ranging from 65 to 85 mph.
Tornado counts across the United States have been record breaking this year. The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center reports there have been 1,189 eyewitness tornado sightings since January. If you see, hear, or feel anything out of the ordinary, take Walsh’s advice and, “Get outta there!”