Storms Rip Down NJ Trees and Power Lines, Thousands in the Dark
A line of strong thunderstorms swept through New Jersey late Thursday night, bringing down trees and branches and plunging thousands into darkness.
"As a cold front slammed into New Jersey, widespread wind gusts between 40 and 60 mph blew through the state. The top gust: 62 mph at High Point," WPG Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.
One tree took down three utility poles along Belmar Boulevard in Wall Township, according to a report by NBC New York. The Glendola Fire Company of Wall posted pictures on its Facebook page of a "substantial building collapse" at the Monmouth Jet Center on Route 34.
A tree fell on top of a house on South Park Terrace in Union Township, according to a report by RLS Metro Breaking News.
Madison Borough in Morris County appears to have been especially hard-hit, as school was canceled and a State of Emergency was declared in order to "insure that authorities will be unhampered in their efforts to maintain law and order" and protect residents.
More than 20,000 utility customers across the state were without power as of 8:50 a.m., according to the respective utility maps.
- 12,848 JCP&L customers, mostly in Hunterdon (East Amwell), Monmouth (Howell and Wall), Morris (Florham Park), and Ocean (Pine Beach) counties;
- 6,571 PSE&G customers, mostly in Essex (West Orange), Middlesex (Plainsboro) and Mercer (Trenton) counties
- Over 1,133 Atlantic City Electric customers scattered throughout its service area;
- Orange and Rockland Electric had scattered outages in North Jersey.
JCP&L spokesman Mark Nigowski said that trees still full with leaves are more prone to falling onto wires and equipment, creating outages. He said crews are out making repairs to restore service as safely and as quickly as possible, but had no estimated restoration time.
Cell phones in parts of Mercer, Middlesex, and Somerset counties buzzed with a late-night Tornado Warning as radar picked up rotation in a storm just over the Delaware River in Newtown, Pennsylvania, that tracked east over Hopewell, Pennington, and Princeton, according to Zarrow.
"I doubt there was a tornado on the ground, but it sure was windy. Radar-estimated 65 mph straight-line wind gusts as it crossed the Delaware River," Zarrow said.
NJ Transit did not report any storm-related problems.