A tornado hit Lake Carey at 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2, 1998, with such violent force that it destroyed homes, ripped trees and shrubs from the ground and caused the death of two residents.
The next day, Wyoming County Commissioner Ron Williams reported that firefighters and volunteers were working to clear debris to make roads passable and that the National Guard was coming to help with the cleanup and rescue. Work crews from the state Department of Transportation found one road filled with a mound of trees 15 feet high.
Wyoming County Coroner Tom Kukuchka reported that two people, an elderly woman and a middle-aged man, died as a result of the violent storm.
Officials from the National Weather Service in Binghamton came to the area on June 3 and confirmed that a tornado hit the lake. The tornado sprang from a line of severe thunderstorms that moved across the region, a storm John LaCorte of the National Weather Service office in State College called one of the worst in history. The storm damaged a 25-square mile area, and President Bill Clinton declared Wyoming County a major disaster area days later.
In addition to the tornado at Lake Carey, reports arose about suspected tornados in Meshoppen and Lackawanna County. There also were suspected tornadoes in other parts of Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh and Centre and Northumberland counties.
Tornadoes also hit the area Sunday, May 31. The National Weather Service confirmed that an F-1 tornado struck in Monroe Twp. in Wyoming County, and two F-0 tornadoes hit Pike County.
An aerial view of the east shore drive in lake carey shows the devistation from tuesday nights storm. Times-Tribune File
Lake side destruction at Lake Carey Wednesday morning. Times-Tribune File
An aerial view of west lakeshore drive in lake carey shows the widespread destruction from tuesday nights storm. Times-Tribune File
A for rent sign sits by a tree next to a damaged house at Lake Carey. Times-Tribune File
A sign indicates that this homeowner will be back to rebuild his or her home at Lake Carey. Times-Tribune File
GPU energy workers mill about the parking lot at shadowbrook wednesday night as they await the order to go into lake carey and start fixing power lines, they said that the national gaurd and state police wouldn’t let them in until tomorrow. Times-Tribune File
Betty laukitis outside her demolished lake carey home. Times-Tribune File
Lake Carey, two western shore houses five months after the tornado. Times-Tribune File
Lake Carey shoreline devastation. Times-Tribune File
Mike Maruzzelli removes tree limbs from his property at Lake Carey. Times-Tribune File
Dave Mead stands on his second floor deck at his home on Lake Carey. Times-Tribune File
Mary Bishop in her damaged home at Lake Carey. Times-Tribune File
Frank from Franks Store in Lake Carey, works on the roof of his business on a early November morning. Times-Tribune File
Lake Carey, two western shore houses the day after the tornado. Times-Tribune File
“Residents Out” sign in front of house that was checked and cleared. Times-Tribune File
An aerial view of route 29 at lake carey shows the wide range of destruction. note that the house at left and at right are flattened while the house in the middle is damaged but not totaled. Times-Tribune File
Lake Carey destruction from tornados. Times-Tribune File
Roger Swetland moves debris from a damaged house at Lake Carey. Times-Tribune File
Work progresses on the roof of a house at Lake Carey. Times-Tribune File