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Significant Storm Damage in Hellertown, L. Saucon Being Surveyed

Storm Damage Hellertown Bethlehem

As Tuesday morning turned to Tuesday afternoon, the magnitude of the damage to trees and properties in parts of Hellertown borough and Lower Saucon Township became more evident.

Est. Read Time: 6 mins

As Tuesday morning turned to Tuesday afternoon, the magnitude of the damage to trees and properties in parts of Hellertown borough and Lower Saucon Township became more evident.

Tuesday’s severe thunderstorms produced winds strong enough to topple a 6-ton travel trailer on Kichline Avenue in the borough, and the National Weather Service office at Mount Holly, N.J., has dispatched a survey team to the Lehigh Valley to determine whether a tornado formed anywhere within a roughly 12-mile-long oval between Coopersburg and Rt. 22, just north of Bethlehem.

That area–in which the worst storm damage appears to have occurred–is roughly bisected by Rt. 378 and includes the western halves of Hellertown and Lower Saucon Township, where some of the worst damage in the Saucon Valley occurred.

A number of roads in both municipalities remained closed as of late Tuesday afternoon, including Friedensville Road, where a massive tree fell across the road and crushed a vehicle which remained wedged beneath it. Westbound traffic was being detoured through the Society Hill and Four Seasons developments, which are normally separated by a gated entrance, to Skibo Road.

Storm Damage Hellertown Bethlehem

Late Tuesday afternoon, Friedensville Road remained closed between Delancey Street (Society Hill) and Meadows Road in Lower Saucon Township because of a large tree that was blocking the roadway. The driver who was in the silver car crushed by the tree, above, reportedly did not suffer any serious injuries in the accident. The south side of Friedensville Road is in Lower Saucon Township, while the north side is in the city of Bethlehem.

Parts of the Saucon Valley that often see heavy damage from thunderstorms, such as Hellertown’s Mountainview neighborhoood and the Wassergass section of Lower Saucon Township, largely appeared to have been spared the worst of Monday’s storm.

Severe storm damage in Afton Village in Upper Saucon Township and Allentown’s Midway Manor neighborhood is expected to be of particular interest to the surveyors, whose determinations are expected to be made available to the public Tuesday evening, the NWS office at Mount Holly said on Twitter.

By 4:30 p.m., most of PPL customers in Hellertown borough had seen their power restored by the utility, although a sliver of the borough’s northwest corner remained in the dark. That blackout extended across a number of developments in western Lower Saucon Township, where over a thousand customers in neighborhoods along Black River and Bingen roads were still without electricity.

Trees that have been brought down cannot be removed by borough or township public works crews until power company crews respond to de-electrify and/or clear wires that may also be down.

The severe weather that swept through the region has caused some power outages,” PPL said earlier on Twitter. “Please know our crews are out working as safely and quickly as possible to restore every customer. Stay safe and report an outage by texting OUTAGE to TXTPPL or by visiting”

The Lower Saucon Township Police announced that as of 4:30 p.m., in addition to Friedensville Road, Saucon Valley Road remained closed between Bingen Road and Rt. 378.

To receive traffic safety and other alerts from the Lower Saucon Township Police Department, follow the department on Crimewatch. Residents can subscribe to receive email notifications from the Borough of Hellertown here.

Lower Saucon Township officials also announced Tuesday that the township’s yard waste facility on Polk Valley Road will be open additional hours this week due to ongoing storm cleanup efforts.

The dropoff center at 2150 Polk Valley Road, across from the Saucon Valley School District Stadium, will be open Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Above, a “Road Closed” sign blocks Friedensville Road at Delancey Street in Lower Saucon Township. Westbound traffic was being detoured through Society Hill and Four Seasons to Skibo Road/Walnut Street. Several hundred yards further down the road, a large tree and wires remained down as of late Tuesday afternoon.

W. High Street at Ravena Street in Bethlehem city was closed to traffic just west of the High Street Bridge in Hellertown.

CVS on Main Street in Hellertown was closed until further notice due to a blackout. The borough’s northwest corner and much of western Lower Saucon Township were still without power as of late Tuesday afternoon.

Tree limbs were snapped by the storm’s strong winds throughout Hellertown borough.

Barricades prevent traffic from entering or exiting Bachman Street in Hellertown, where a downed wire dangled across the roadway.

A large tree brought down by the storm closed part of Thomas Avenue to traffic in Hellertown.

The traffic lights at High and Main streets at the north end of Hellertown were unlit due to the blackout in that part of the borough.

A tree company’s equipment was parked at Bachman and Main streets in Hellertown, near an area in which a number of trees were brought down by the severe storm.

An alley near W. High Street in Hellertown was barricaded so tree branches and wires downed by the storm could be safely removed.

Rather than detouring through Society Hill, some drivers made U-turns on Friedensville Road in order to get around the road closure.

Caution tape is strung across Washington Street by the CVS in Hellertown following Monday night’s storm.

Some of the worst damage seemed to have occurred in the 1700-1800 blocks of Friedensville Road in Lower Saucon Township, where a large tree apparently fell on the roadway as a vehicle was passing underneath it.

The north end of Washington Street in Hellertown borough was closed to traffic due to storm-related damage. Homes and businesses in the borough’s northwest corner seemed to be the worst hit following Monday’s storm.

A UGI work crew was seen on W. High Street near Main Street in Hellertown. That part of the borough was still without power on Tuesday afternoon.

Barricades block the east end of Bachman Street at Whitaker Street in Hellertown.


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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at

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