Gusty, Strong Winds Hit NJ on Wednesday
TRENTON — New Jersey's second round of storms brought rain along with gusty winds on Wednesday.
The storms rolled in from the west with a strong cell that showed some tight rotation prompting a Tornado Warning around 4 p.m. in Hunterdon County that stretched over the Delaware River into Bucks County. It was the start of a busy couple of hours with watches and warnings being issued as storms quickly developed with torrential rains, winds of up to 70 mph and hen egg size eggs.
"There were some ominous storms out there this evening, especially around Hunterdon and Mercer counties. We saw downed trees, ping pong ball size hail, power outages, traffic accidents, and widespread flooding issues. But no tornadoes and no major injuries," NJ 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.
Trees and utility poles closed portions of Route 31 in Hopewell and Route 27 in Princeton, according to National Weather Service reports.
Firefighters had to perform a water rescue under the Delaware and Raritan Canal bridge on Parkside Avenue in Trenton on Tuesday afternoon.
At least six drivers who thought they could make it through high water on Prospect Street in Ewing also got trapped, according to a News 12 New Jersey report.
In Ocean County, two adjacent homes were struck by lightning in Lakewood during a severe thunderstorm, according to the Lakewood Scoop, which said the homes filled with smoke but residents made it out safety.
JCP&L and PSE&G customers who lost power during the storm were restored overnight. Most of those who lost power in Stanhope and Hopatcong on during Tuesday night's earlier storms have been restored.
Lenape Valley Regional High School in Stanhope, which sustained damage in those storms, was back in session on Thurday.
Superintendent Paul Dirupo credited his supervisors of grounds and buildings for making repairs to ensure that the building would be open for today.
"The business administrator made sure that insurance people were notified and was there, along with the supervisors, to walk the insurance people in and out of the campus for damage on Wednesday. Truly a great effort by all. My personal theme for the staff this year was evident these past few days. OTOV — One Team One Vision," Dirupo said.
Zarrow expected one more round of storms on Thursday afternoon, with the potential for torrential rain, gusty winds and isolated instances of hail and a tornadoes.
"If I had to pick a 'bullseye' for severe storms, it would be in western New Jersey from about Hunterdon to Camden counties," Zarrow said.