By CBS3 Staff

WEST NORRITON, Pa. (CBS) — Tens of thousands spent Christmas in the dark because of power outages in the Delaware Valley after a thunderous storm on Christmas Eve. West Norriton was one of the hardest-hit areas in the region.

Neighbors woke up to a massive tree ripped from its roots on Christmas morning, which is now toppled in the middle of the intersection. It snapped a power pole, which is still dangling from the wires. Neighbors are just grateful it wasn’t worse.

Cleaning up on Christmas Day with trees down, debris scattered, and decorations toppled in West Norriton.

Heavy rains flooded Nate Buckwalter’s basement.

“It was sideways rain,” Buckwalter’s said. “I was wrapping presents out here and water was just coming in.”

Mark Rambo says the storm shook his home.

“Really, we felt it hard because we had new siding put up,” Rambo said.

“You can just see things blowing,” Sue Pasquariello said.

Pasquariello told Eyewitness News the high winds were so strong that she was worried she was in the path of something more.

“Everybody always says with a tornado you hear this loud rumbling, and it was very loud,” Pasquariello said.

Across Egypt Road, crews were out early repairing one roof.

“It peeled like a banana,” Dave Handwerk said.

“The roof ended up peeling over upstairs in my kids’ room. They’re in the front master bedroom, there’s leaks in the ceiling,” Andrea Shore said.

Homeowners described the close call that caused their chimney to come crashing down onto a car and the driveway below.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” one man said.

Christ Johnston and his team were on his second of four calls on Christmas.

“Hopefully, we’ll be home by dinnertime,” Johnston said.

And as the expert, we had to ask about the irony of a chimney falling on Christmas Eve.

“I think it might have been Santa coming in a little hot,” Johnston said.

And Johnston wasn’t the only one.

“The fire department said that they think he was trying to come down your chimney and broke your chimney,” a man said. “Santa ran into the chimney with his sled. That’s what he did.”

So, whether it was the weather or something, rather someone else, it certainly has a few believers in this neighborhood wondering.

“I wasn’t here, but it was Christmas night. You never know,” Johnston said.

In Philadelphia, a tree was taken down in Fairmount Park on Strawberry Mansion Drive and blocked one lane Friday morning. There was a lot of standing water along Kelly Drive as well.

The heavy rain and wind also toppled a tree at Shoemaker Lane and Weadley Road in Upper Merion. Not far away, the road is flooded at Swedeland Road and River Road, where several cars became stranded.

As of midday Friday, PECO said fewer than 14,00more than 30,000 customers were impacted, including over 7,000 outages in Montgomery County alone.

According to PSE&G, about 12,000 customers were in the dark in their service area. Atlantic City Electric reported about 5,400 customers were without power. Delmarva Power reported about 1,700 customers were impacted in Delaware.

CBS3’s Alicia Roberts reports


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