Strong Pennsylvania storm damages businesses, overturns cars

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) A strong storm pounded parts of Pennsylvania, damaging numerous businesses in a shopping plaza, overturning cars and downing trees and power lines.

The storm struck a shopping plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township late Wednesday night. The area was under a tornado warning at the time.

Township police wrote on their Facebook page that there were reports of "multiple collapsed buildings." They asked drivers to avoid the area to allow emergency personnel access to the shopping plaza.

Photos posted on social media show shattered storefronts and major damage to businesses including a Panera Bread restaurant and a Barnes & Noble bookstore. Debris lay scattered in parking lots and on streets and sidewalks.

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It was not immediately clear if there were any injuries.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania took to Twitter and urged people in the path of the storm to stay safe and "please heed the warnings and follow the directions of local officials."

The National Weather Service said it would be in Wilkes-Barre Township on Thursday to survey the damage and determine whether it was a tornado that touched down.