Powerful NJ thunderstorm knocks down trees, brings heavy rain
BRICK — One Jersey Shore town seems to have taken the brunt of Tuesday afternoon's thunderstorms.
According to the National Weather Service, nearly 5 inches of rain fell in Brick during the storms. Lightning struck utility poles on Princeton Avenue and Pello Road as traffic lights along Route 70 went dark and over 3,000 customers in the township lost power.
A tree also fell inches from a house on Bella Vista Road during the storm, according to a photo posted by the Ocean County Scanner News Facebook page.
"It rained and it poured on Tuesday! When heat and humidity combine with a strong cold front like that, heavy rain and severe weather are almost a guarantee," Townsquare New Jersey Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said, adding that the thunder and lightning were very intense.
Zarrow was aware of only one report of hail during the storm, reported by New Jersey 101.5's Tommy Farrell at High Point Solutions Stadium at Rutgers University in Piscataway.
Over 23,000 JCP&L and PSE&G customers were without power around 4:30 p.m. but that number was down to about 1,000 by 7 p.m., according to the utilities' respective outage maps.
A tree that fell onto NJ Transit's North Jersey Coast Line in Bradley Beach caused some delays during the afternoon commute, but the line was not closed.
South Brunswick police said trees fell onto several cars parked at a commuter parking lot near exit 8A of the New Jersey Turnpike. Zarrow said a tree snapped and came down on utility lines on Clinton Street in Hoboken
NJ.com reported that firefighters sprayed water on a three-story apartment on Belvidere Avenue in Jersey City that was hit by lightning. The doorbell and metal infrastructure was damaged when lightning struck a Bayonne home, according to another NJ.com report.
Trenton's water rescue team was called out to help a couple whose car got caught in high water on Parkside Avenue under the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park Trail, near Cadwalader Park.
A fire in an electrical room sent smoke into the Ocean County Mall in Toms River, which caused the shopping center to close late Tuesday afternoon, according to Toms River police. The cause of the fire remained under investigation.
The heavy rain will likely bring up bacteria levels at shore beaches as animal waste collects in sample areas.
The weather will calm down for the rest of the week as a cold front brings a welcome shot of dry air to the Garden State, according to Zarrow. The forecast for Wednesday and Thursday in particular is sunny, warm, and comfortable.