Tornado touches down in Lancaster County

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SALISBURY TOWNSHIP, Pa.--

The National Weather Service said a tornado touched down in rural Lancaster County. Barbara Watson from the NWS said it was a quarter mile wide and went for about five to six miles.

"One of the telling signs is the very concentrated damage on a long path," she said. "Quite often we see tornadoes in this state less than a minute, less than a mile long."

It was only the second tornado to hit Pennsylvania in February since 1950.

"We are estimating approximately 50 homes have had significant to serious damage," Lancaster County Director of Emergency Management Randall Gockley said. "I've been with the county for 28 years and I don't know if we've ever had a tornado event like this in the February time frame."

He said the tornado caused about $8 million in damage, and the number could possibly rise.  Building damaged included; homes, barns, and an Amish school house. According to Gockley, the cleanup should be about three days. Reconstruction will take longer because of permits he said.

"We probably had, my guess is a couple hundred people, come through," White Horse Fire Company President Sam Stoltzfus said.

Cleanup began as people from the community worked together.

"It's a good feeling here for this area of Lancaster County to have the support and cooperation in the aftermath of a disaster," Gockley said.

Gockley said during the storm an auction was held in the Amish community and none were injured. He said Amish were notified of the storm by neighbors.