A National Weather Service survey team says a tornado moved through West Windsor and Lawrence on Tuesday afternoon.

A strong line of storms with hail, heavy rain and gusty wind moved west to east across Mercer and Monmouth counties after 3 p.m.

An area of rotation in the Hightstown-East Windsor-Cranbury area around 3:30 p.m. prompted a Tornado Warning, which was canceled by 4:15 PM.

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A preliminary investigation determined a tornado touched down in the Quaker Bridge Road area on the border of the two Mercer County townships. Additional details about its path and its Fujita Scale rating will be released later Wednesday.

Tree through a fence in West Windsor after a tornado 2/21/23
Tree through a fence in West Windsor after a tornado 2/21/23 (Ryan Kelly)
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How to confirm a tornado

It is New Jersey's first confirmed tornado since an EF-1 storm touched down in Blackwood, Camden County on June 9, according to New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow.

"A tornado is a localized area of intense, twisting winds. Given how strong the rotation was on radar Tuesday afternoon, and how extreme the wind damage was," Zarrow said. "I am not surprised at all this was a tornado."

Zarrow said the survey team uses a standard list of "damage indicators" to calculate the approximate wind speed.

Tornado damage in Lawrence Square Village of Quaker Bridge Road in West Windsor
Tornado damage in Lawrence Square Village of Quaker Bridge Road in West Windsor (6 ABC Action News) (Canva/Google Maps)
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Property damage, no injuries reported

Approximately 100 properties in West Windsor sustained minor damage while 160 Lawrence residents were displaced, according to police. Red Cross New Jersey was on hand to assist residents.

PSE&G restored the vast majority of customers who lost power by Wednesday morning.

A water spout was also reported off the coast in Sea Girt, according to the National Weather Service.

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