Hurricane Irene brought with her conditions right for the formation of tornadoes. The Philadelphia area is under a tornado watch until 5 a.m. Sunday.
Tornado warnings were issued for 10:30 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. Saturday when weather patterns indicated a likely path that included Chestnut Hill, Narberth, Bryn Mawr, Conshohocken, Plymouth Meeting, Radnor and Paoli.
Thousands of area residents lost power. More homes and businesses will likely lose power before the end of this weather event. Philadelphia Mayor Micheal Nutter warned that people could be without power for up to two weeks as crews work to restore power.
is serving as an evacuation point for the borough. was also set up for people needing shelter.
Some local businesses, such as MilkBoy Coffee in and , , and in Havertown, Plymouth Meeting Mall, and area Wawas closed early Saturday. in Marple pushed its show up from 8 p.m. to 6 p.m. Some area chruches, including and in Media, canceled Sunday services.
So many people were gassing up in preparation for Irene and her aftermath that both Sunoco stations on Lancaster Avenue in Bryn Mawr ran out of gas. The Liberty gas station in Plymouth Meeting also ran dry to motorists.
SEPTA suspended its regional rail service to the Main Line area at 5 p.m.
The Schuylkill Expressway was closed at Gulph Mills when a tree came down. Speed limits on most major roads, including I-76, I-476 and Route 1 were restricted to 45 mph. Big vehicles, such as RVs and tractor trailers were banned from those highways.