Wilkes-Barre city residents believe last week's tornado hit their homes first

Neighbors say this beloved 25-year-old tree fell during severe storms on Wednesday, June 13, 2018.

Area businesses are not the only ones cleaning up from last week's storms.

Those who live in one nearby neighborhood believe the tornado damaged their homes.

As neighbors Kathy Evans and Aleta Payne saw reports of Governor Tom Wolf as he toured Arena Hub Plaza following last week's tornado, frustration came over them.

"What are they saying nobody else was affected by it but them? We were. Me and her. I don't know if anyone else was, but her and I were definitely in the path of this storm,” Evans said.

Despite their disappointment that the stores were the focus of cleanup efforts, they were also thankful.

"We were totally blessed. I said, if that thing had moved just a little bit, it would have taken my house out, there wouldn't be anybody left alive on this street, Payne said.

The two neighbors live diagonal to each other on Penn Street, and their homes appear to be in the tornado's path.

"All of the sudden, something hit the house. It sounded like a bomb, it was just, 'BAM,” Payne exclaimed.

Payne's house received minor damage, like a broken swing, leaning fence, and missing shingles she's already had repaired.

Across the street at Evan's, it's a little clearer something came through here.

"The next morning we got up and we saw all the damage here and when it rained it came through my porch in here and it came through my washroom on the back. So quite a bit of damage. We got a bike back there we don't know where it came from,” Evans said.

However, the most devastating loss is a 25-year-old tree Evans and her husband planted in their front yard.

"We put our arms around each other and we cried because that tree's our babies. We have five granddaughters and every one of them had their picture taken in front of the that beautiful tree. And it is a tree. And that's what I said, 'oh my gosh, we're standing here crying over a stupid tree.' And he goes, 'no, but that has a lot of life. A lot of stories behind it,” Evans added.

Now they're looking for help getting rid of the debris.

"I need help. I can't do this ourselves. I'm not financially able and I'm not strong enough,” she added.

The National Weather Service says it's possible the tornado did in fact touch down here before it hit Arena Hub Plaza.

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