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Are trailer parks tornado magnets? How 2 in Bensalem withstood storm

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The punchline about trailer parks is that they are storm magnets — pre-storm a community of low-cost homes for newlyweds and seniors, post-storm a shattered mass of debris and shaken lives.

The cliché was put to the test in Lower Bucks County on July 29 when an EF3 tornado, with winds over 136 miles per hour (topping at 140 mph) tore through Bensalem. It made a direct hit on the Faulkner Automotive Group dealerships in Trevose, destroying the place. The twister roared on through two nearby trailer parks — Weisser Homes and Penn Valley Terrace, both on Old Lincoln Highway.

Weisser, behind Faulkner, was clobbered first. Three of its seven mobile homes were wrecked. A sample home appeared dynamited. Twisted pieces of Faulkner’s metal roof lay about the park.

Penn Valley Terrace, a short distance away, was next. While there was damage throughout the neighborhood, and at least one unoccupied home was in shambles, most homes were intact and damage was minor. Of the six storm-related injuries reported by Bensalem authorities, all were minor and just one came from Penn Valley.

It’s nonsense that mobile homes attract killer storms, said Kathy Friend, who co-owns Weisser with her brother, Bill Weisser.

“It’s not like the tornado was thinking, ha, we got Faulkner, now let’s go for the trailer parks,” she said.

The reason there was so little major........

© The Intelligencer

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