Yesterday, July 29, at 5:55pm, cell phones and televisions all over the Hopewell Valley screeched with an emergency alert, notifying residents that a tornado had been seen in Bucks County and was traveling towards Trenton. Residents were told to seek shelter in basements.
By 6:05pm, the sky had darkened and the wind shrieked overhead in Titusville. As the rain pelted down, River Drive resident Randy Niederer measured an inch of accumulation in five minutes. By 6:30pm, the storm had passed, leaving property destruction in its wake. As of last evening, Mayor Julie Blake said that no injuries had been reported.
MercerMe has not been able to confirm whether the tornado, which was confirmed in Bucks and further east in New Jersey, touched the Hopewell Valley, but certain areas were hit hard by wind, while others were completely spared.
Hopewell Township Police reported this morning that main roads Rt. 29 and Bear Tavern Road were opened, “however, multiple side roads including Church Road, Fiddlers Creek Road, and Pleasant Valley Road are closed and will be for a considerable amount of time. Utility company and Public Works are out repairing and cleaning up the multiple trees and poles down throughout the Titusville area.” As of this writing at 1:38pm, they are still closed.
The Police Department also reported that PSE&G and JCP&L both have power outages, and there has been no estimate made yet of when power will be restored. Numerous tree trucks and utility trucks have been going up and down Church Road all morning to address the many downed trees. Comcast service was restored late this morning. Potable water is available at the Township building for anyone who needs it.
According to Washington Crossing Park Association President Annette Earling, the Park sustained tree damage and will be closed for some time while staff clear park roads. Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space Executive Director Lisa Wolff reported that Bald Pate Mountain also has numerous downed trees and will remain closed until Mercer County Park staff clear the driveway.
Below are photographs contributed by Robert English, of Church Road, and Mike Chipowsky, of Bear Tavern Road. We thank them for their contributions and hope that everyone who sustained property damage have services restored and repairs made quickly.