FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP — Franklin Township resident Tom Blackall said during the early morning hours Monday, he heard some sort of noise coming from the 127-acre family property along Preacher Brook Road.
“When the multitude of rain had slowed down, it was coming straight down. Everything had just gotten quiet,” he explained. “And then, as I was telling them (his family), I asked, ‘What’s that noise?’”
It was somewhere between 1:30 and 2 a.m., he remembered. With a tornado watch in effect for the area during that time and a tornado having come through the township last year, about 3 miles away from the family home, they ended up in their cellar for about an hour as a safety measure. Blackall said they didn’t get to bed until around 3 a.m.
“We take that stuff a lot more seriously after last summer,” said Mark Pardoe, Blackall’s son-in-law.
On Monday evening, Blackall and Pardoe took The Daily Review for a short tour of the large property, pointing out the areas where several tall trees had been broken in half or uprooted. The path of destruction, Blackall pointed out, extended in a straight line that cut over from the rear portion of the property along Preacher Brook Road to Alexander Road.
“It’s quite a picture, isn’t it?” he asked.
Along the way, Blackall encountered two neighbors in their trucks — one of whom didn’t see any damage on his property, while another said the tops of the trees were taken off on a nearby hill.
“It didn’t take the tops here, did it,” Blackall remarked. “Most of them, it just laid them right over — chopped them.”
Because of the direction that the trees had been toppled in, Blackall doesn’t believe it was anything more than straight line winds, which were expected to reach as high as 70 mph.
Bradford County Department of Public Safety officials did not immediately respond to attempts from The Daily Review to obtain information about the county’s damages from the extreme overnight weather.
“We have a lot of timber to get out of here,” Blackall remarked to his son-in-law.