By Lauren Casey

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One day, nine confirmed tornadoes in the Delaware Valley. This count includes the EF-3 tornado in Somerton-Trevose-Bensalem, Bucks County with winds of an incredible 140 mph, and a tornado in Lehigh County that the National Weather Service confirmed on Sunday.

The NWS says the ninth tornado on July 29 was confirmed to have touched down in the Weisenberg, Lehigh County area. The EF-1 tornado had peak winds of 90 mph. This latest confirmed tornado brings the total count of tornados in the region to nine.

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The tornado, the first EF-3 in the state of Pennsylvania recorded in 17 years, did significant structural damage to the Faulkner Car Dealership on Street Road, where almost all of the roofing material was blown off of the Buick/GMC showroom and the main service garage, exterior walls were fractured or collapsed entirely and HVAC were tossed off the buildings, one unit landing 200 yards away. Numerous cars sustained major damage due to flying debris or from being tossed through the air and dropped back to the ground. Five people reported minor injuries at the dealership complex. 

At the nearby Weisser Homes Mobile Home Park, a thankfully uninhabited mobile home model was lifted into the air and completely destroyed.

Mobile homes are amongst the most dangerous places to be in a tornado as they are not built to withstand severe winds. If you live in a mobile home, it’s critical that you find safe shelter elsewhere. If no shelter is immediately available, leave your mobile home and lie down in the lowest-lying area near you, covering your head with your hands.

The only other tornado of this magnitude on record to occur in Bucks County was an F3 in 1896.

In addition to this, two other tornadoes were confirmed in Bucks County that occurred last Thursday. An EF-2 with peak winds of 115 mph touched down in New Hope and then toward Ewing in Mercer County, New Jersey, shortly before entering a more densely populated area near the Trenton Airport, as well as an EF-1 in Plumstead Township.

The Pennsylvania twister count continues with an EF-0 confirmed in Northeast Philly near the intersection of Grant Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard, and an EF-0 in Lehigh County, in Slatington.

Now onto New Jersey or as Mother Nature seems set on as establishing the new Tornado Alley of the Northeast. Four tornadoes were confirmed in central and southern New Jersey during the severe weather outbreak on July 29.

Two twisters touched down in Ocean County; an EF-2 in which caused damage in the High Bar Harbor area on LBI and an EF-1 in the Cedar Bridge area in Barnegat Township. And in Mercer County, an EF-1 was confirmed in Windsor-Robbinsville Township and the New Hope, Pennsylvania tornado lifted near Ewing, Mercer County.

Thursday’s brings New Jersey’s tornado tally to seven, just this month. Two tornadoes occurred in Cape May and Ocean Counties in association with Tropical Storm Elsa, earlier in the month.

On July 17, an EF-1 was confirmed in Springfield Township, Burlington County. The average number of tornadoes for New Jersey is two, for the entire year.

The National Weather Service in Mt. Holly has issued 29 tornado warnings so far this year. That’s more than the forecast office in Norman, Oklahoma has issued

The tornado warning for the Bensalem storm elicited the first-ever “PDS” warning in the Delaware Valley. A “PDS,” or Particularly Dangerous Situation, is issued by a forecast office, if the meteorologist/s have high confidence that a strong or violent tornado is occurring or imminent.

Our recent spate of tornadic activity demonstrates and reaffirms how crucial it is to stay informed of impending severe weather and to act immediately when a warning is issued.

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Thursday’s tornadoes caused significant damage to parts of the region while on the ground for mere minutes. Remember, a “watch” means conditions are favorable for development of severe weather and a “warning” means it’s happening and to take protective action ASAP.