⚡ The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in Jackson

⚡ High winds destroyed homes and large facilities and left a wake of downed power lines

⚡ Wind gusts over 70 mph, large hail, and a water spout were spotted throughout NJ

JACKSON — The National Weather Service is on the ground in Monmouth and Ocean counties as they investigate a possible tornado that left a trail of destroyed homes, felled trees, a collapsed dome, and a warehouse split in half.

Jackson Mayor Mike Reina told New Jersey 101.5 that he had been out surveying the damage Saturday night and started again Sunday morning. Reina said a warehouse on West Commodore Blvd. had been "completely destroyed" and that half a dozen families had been displaced from their homes by the storm.

The massive Adventure Crossing USA dome off Monmouth Road had collapsed. Its website states the facility, which opened only months ago, is closed for a "power failure." Reina said the facility would be closed for "a while" and that he had offered the township's assistance to the owners.

The Adventure dome after Saturday night's storm. (Dan Simon)
The Adventure dome after Saturday night's storm. (Dan Simon)

"It's not new to us, this type of damage. It's just, talk about unexpected," Reina said. "No loss of life thank God."

Officials from the National Weather Service are on the ground assessing the damage. A tornado was confirmed and now the investigation is ongoing as they try to determine the severity of the tornado. Reina said they were following the path of the storm shortly after noon Sunday. An update from the NWS is expected later Sunday.

Many roads remain closed in the township as public works tries to clear debris and JCP&L works to restore power. As of Sunday, JCP&L still had 13,000 customers without power. Reina said around noon that 9,300 of those were in Jackson.

The mayor said that there was some difficulty figuring out which homes did not have power as some were using generators. He noted that some residents didn't have a transfer switch for their generators, which could be dangerous for workers and was slowing progress.

The destroyed warehouse on West Commodore Blvd sits near the intersection with Diamond Road around three miles away from Six Flags Great Adventure. The park is closed Sunday but the extent of any damage is unknown.

Great Adventure said in a statement on social media that it should reopen on Wednesday.

Storm damage throughout New Jersey

Jackson was not the only community hit hard by last night's storm.

Nearly 800 people were without power in Lakewood last night. The storm caused property damage there as well with downed power lines and trees. A trampoline was blown into the air and landed upside down on a fence.

Downed trees in Upper Freehold after the storm 4/2/23 (Alyssa Derling)
Downed trees in Upper Freehold after the storm 4/2/23 (Alyssa Derling)

Large hail was reported throughout several counties. Photos from Allentown appeared to show hail around an inch wide.

An impressive waterspout was spotted off Brigantine. Tornadoes have also been confirmed in Howell, Sea Girt, and Cinnaminson.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at richard.rickman@townsquaremedia.com

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