4 possible tornadoes in NJ during damaging Thursday storms
The National Weather Service will investigate at least four reports of possible tornadoes following a night of severe weather across New Jersey on Thursday night.
New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said it was an unprecedented night for him with 12 tornado warnings issued in New Jersey, six severe thunderstorm warnings and eight flash flood warnings.
"I seriously haven't covered a severe weather outbreak like this since I worked in Oklahoma 13+ years ago," Zarrow said.
Friday afternoon the National Weather Service in Mount Holly confirmed two EF1 tornadoes in Ocean County. One was in Waretown and the other in the Cedar Bridge area in Barnegat Both storms had winds of 100-105 mph. The agency said a full report will be issued when their investigation is complete.
Tornadoes or rotations were spotted in Lakehurst, the Millstone/Roosevelt area of western Monmouth County, Hamilton, Ewing and East Windsor/Hightstown. A water spout was spotted in Barnegat Bay.
A forecaster at the National Weather Service in Mount Holly told New Jersey 101.5 they are most interested in going to the Hopewell and Trenton areas, the Lakehurst area, the Barnegat Township and Harvey Cedars area in Ocean County, and the Willingboro and Mount Holly region of Burlington County.
The National Weather Service's New York office which covers northern New Jersey counties confirmed an EF-0 tornado with 65 mph winds touched down inside the Montclair Golf Club in Verona on Thursday. The tornado traveled less than a half mile and severely damaged one house. Several trees and large limbs were also knocked down, according to investigators.
One of the worst storms was one that damaged eight houses in the High Bar Harbor Section near Arnold Lane, according to Ocean County Sheriff Mike Mastronardy. He said there were numerous calls about cuts from flying glass. He was aware of three people injured and one person who was hospitalized.
"We're lucky," Mastronadry said.
The sheriff told New Jersey 101.5 adding that officers are going door to door to check on residents.
Long Beach Township police later Friday morning said over 35 houses were damaged on Antioch Road, Arnold Boulevard, Collier Avenue and Sunset Boulevard. 15 houses suffered extensive damage and multiple boats were damaged, according to police. Five utility poles were also replaced because of damage.
Mastronadry said that despite social media rumors there was no touchdown in Lakehurst.
"We don't know where that came from. We had no calls at the 911 Center. I heard some radio transmissions a tornado touched down but we have no verification and no calls," Mastronardy said. "We have nothing recorded there either damage or a tornado."
There was a rescue operation near the police station in East Windsor where over 4 inches of rain fell in an hour. Route 130 was closed due to high water.
"It's crazy. Water is flooding everywhere in the town and there's cones and you still have people driving around the cones and driving through the water," East Windsor Fire Company Deputy Chief Jay Laughlin told NBC Philadelphia.
Zarrow said the worst tornado breakout on record in New Jersey was Nov. 16, 1989 when a total of seven distinct tornadoes touched down in New Jersey in a single calendar day. Second place is March 10, 1964 with 5. Third place is Oct. 18, 1990 at 4.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ