Philadelphia County was under tornado warning on Wednesday evening, as high winds and heavy rains hit the region.
The remnants of Hurricane Ida, which caused severe damage in Louisiana, prompted multiple alerts from the National Weather Service and one from Penn's Division of Public Safety at 5:29 p.m. advising members of the Penn community to “shelter in place until further notice.”
The county is still under a tornado watch through 10 p.m. tonight. Unlike a tornado warning, which indicates “imminent” danger to life and property, a tornado watch instructs people to be ready to act if a warning is issued.
There is also a flash flood warning in place until 11:30 p.m., according to NWS. The Schuylkill River, located at the outskirts of Penn’s campus, is at “considerable risk” for flooding.
The severe weather forced some Penn student activities to move online. Budget meetings for all of Penn's club sports teams, which were supposed to be held in person at the Pottruck Health and Fitness Center, were moved to a virtual format, Assistant Director of Structured Sports Roger Jerez wrote in an email to students.
The National Weather Service’s first tornado warning for Philadelphia — which was set to expire at 5:45 p.m. — was extended multiples times before expiring at 7:15 p.m.
A tornado was confirmed in Montgomery County, a suburb just north of Philadelphia, at approximately 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
During a tornado warning the National Weather Service advises people to move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building, avoiding windows if possible. People in a mobile home, a vehicle, or outdoors, should move to the closest substantial shelter and protect themselves from flying debris.
This is a developing story that was last updated at 7:39 p.m. Please check back here for updates.