County hit hard by Tuesday's storm, but no tornado determination

Tuesday's storm caused significant damage throughout York County and left a number of residents without power for hours, but the National Weather Service does not believe a tornado occurred.

Aaron Tyburski, a weather service meteorologist, said the county's emergency manager contacted the service about the storm, but the service made the decision not to send anyone because it looked like straight-line wind.

County spokesman Mark Walters said a damage assessment is being conducted in West York, which was hit the hardest, followed by York City and Spring Garden Township.

The storm caused the partial collapse of a West York warehouse in the 200 block of South Sumner Street.

West York fire Lt. James Hope said the storm damaged three floors of the warehouse, formerly known as the Big Ugly Warehouse. No one was inside at the time, and the structure is condemned until an engineer can look at it, he said.

West York Mayor Shawn Mauck said Wednesday, Sept. 6, that the building houses some small businesses and a structural engineer is assessing the building.

"The main concern is that there would be a secondary collapse," Mauck said.

He said if it were to collapse, the building would have a 60-foot collapse radius.

"We just want to make sure nobody gets hurt," he said.

Funnel forming: Geoff Myers, of West Manchester Township, said he was standing in front of the West York Area High School during the storm when he saw a funnel forming behind the school in the borough.

“I just seen it coming off the new gym that they created," he said.

He said it was moving fast and lasted about 30 seconds before the funnel started dissipating. 

A storm on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, took out a wall on this building in the 200 block of South Sumner Street.

Myers posted a video on his Facebook page that showed the funnel forming and then dissipating within a few seconds.

Several roads around the county were partially or fully blocked by falling trees and utility poles, according to York County 911.

Outages: Met-Ed reported as many as 17,000 customers without power in York County on Tuesday evening, with clusters in Dover, Dover Township, York City, Springettsbury Township and West Manchester Township.

Nearly 5,000 of those customers remained without power Wednesday morning.

Among those without power was the county-owned Pleasant Acres Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, which houses more than 350 senior citizens.

County solicitor Glenn Smith said power was out at the center from 2:30 a.m. to about 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 6, with the backup generator powering all necessary equipment and dimly lighting the hallways and rooms.

Smith said it was an "all hands on deck" situation handled well by the nursing staff, and President Commissioner Susan Byrnes thanked Met-Ed for making the center a priority.

Power outages also affected operations Wednesday at Penn State York and York City School District's William C. Goodridge Academy.

Penn State York closed its campus after a power outage that started in the M.S. Grumbacher Information Sciences and Technology Center eventually spread to other buildings on campus, according to spokeswoman Barbara Dennis.

The school expects to regain power Wednesday afternoon and open for classes on Thursday, Sept. 7.

Students at Goodridge Academy were dismissed at 8:30 a.m. because of the power outage, according to the district's website.

More:Five-story fall kills former York-area firefighter

More:Record-breaking Hurricane Irma bears down on Caribbean

York Tree Service employees Tighe Smith, left, and Jonathan Smiley drag a tree limb while removing a storm-damaged tree at the York Fairgrounds Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. Bill Kalina photo

York City: In York City, Mayor Kim Bracey said during Tuesday's city council meeting that the city was hit by "a bit more than just a thunderstorm" and that the southeastern and western areas of the city were hit particularly hard.

She urged residents to call 717-849-2319 to have employees remove trees and debris from the street.

"Thankfully a large part of the city has been spared," she said.

York City Council president Michael Helfrich encouraged people to treat the storm as "an emergency situation," adding if anyone doesn't have to come to the city, then they shouldn't.

Staff reporters Jason Addy and Junior Gonzales contributed to this report.