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Tornado confirmed in northern Bucks; thunderstorms hit Philly area for third straight day

The small tornado Wednesday was the second in Eastern Pennsylvania in two days.

A fast-moving storm crosses over the Ben Franklin Bridge from Philadelphia to New Jersey on Wednesday, May 29, 2019.
A fast-moving storm crosses over the Ben Franklin Bridge from Philadelphia to New Jersey on Wednesday, May 29, 2019.Read moreTOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer

After two days of punishing thunderstorms and winds that toppled trees, knocked out power to thousands, and caused several schools in Bucks County to close, people in the Philadelphia region Thursday were busy cleaning up the messes the storms had left — even as severe thunderstorms again pounded the region.

The downpours were isolated, with some areas reporting heavy but brief rain, while other regions saw more pronounced rain.

The National Weather Service in Mount Holly issued alerts Thursday for severe weather locally — “Expect damaging winds, large hail, a few tornadoes and excessive rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding across the region,” it said — and by late afternoon those words proved true.

But unlike the previous two days, no tornadoes were reported. The National Weather Service on Thursday said a tornado with winds no greater than 85 mph touched down on the border between Bucks and Lehigh counties at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday. On Tuesday, a tornado touched down near Morgantown, Berks County, causing property damage but no injuries.

Friday is expected to be the best day over the next few days, from the mountains to the Jersey Shore -- and much better than it has been. It will be sunny before turning cloudy overnight. On Saturday, there is a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Look for more rain Sunday, which will start sunny before becoming cloudy with a chance for more thunderstorms in the afternoon.

The highs will be in the low to mid 80s all three days.

In Bucks County, the Central Bucks School District announced that power had been restored at five of the six schools that had been left without electricity Wednesday. Power, however, remained cut off at the Linden Elementary Friday morning and will remain closed.

The storms Wednesday and Thursday knocked out power in parts of the region. In hardest-hit Montgomery and Bucks County, about 5,500 customers remained without electricity Friday morning.