Powerful storms knock out power to thousands Saturday night
Powerful thunderstorms moved across New Jersey late Saturday afternoon knocking out power to thousands of customers, especially in Monmouth and Middlesex counties.
Nearly 32,000 JCP&L customers were without power as of 8 p.m. Hardes hit were Monroe, Sayreville and South Amboy in Middlesex County, Freehold Township, Middletown Millstone in Monmouth County, according to the utility's outage map. No estimate were yet being offered for full restoration.
In Hunterdon County, emergency substation repairs are being made for customers in Long Valley, Port Murray and Glen Gardner. A tweet from JCP&L asks customers to conserve their energy usage until 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Atlantic City Electric and PSEG reported only a handful of outages on their outage maps.
Townsquare New Jersey Meteorologist Alan Kasper says the storms are associated with a strong cold front that will bring in much lower humidity and temperatures in the 70s.
As storms formed in central Pennsylvania and began moving east, the National Weather Service issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for the entire state in effect until 9 p.m. on a humid day with temps into the 90s which felt like around 100 combined with the humidity.
Winds gusted to 55 mph in Perth Amboy and three-quarter inch hail was reported in Pemberton by the National Weather Service. Many of the storms contained hail, heavy rain and vivid cloud-to-ground vivid lightning. A Middletown resident on the New Jersey 101.5 Facebook page said the storm knocked all the apples out of her backyard tree while a Barnegat resident reported a downpour with lots of lightning. Power was also reported lost at the Freehold Raceway Mall for a time.
As the storms moved through, temperatures dropped 10-15 degrees within a matter of minutes.
New Jersey Fast Traffic reported Route 34 flooding at Route 79 in Matawan but the road has since been reopened. The ramp from Route 34 southbound to Route 18 in Colts Neck was closed as well.