🔴 NJ Transit's Gladstone Branch is suspended by fallen trees, power lines and poles

🔴 A tornado formed near the railroad tracks of the Gladstone Branch

🔴 Passengers in-and-out of Newark Liberty had four days of canceled & delayed flights

A tornado that touched down in Bernardsville on Monday is to blame for lingering damage to NJ Transit's Gladstone branch as travel problems continue at Newark Liberty for a fifth day.

A National Weather Service survey team said the tornado had a top speed of 105 mph and a path of just over a mile Monday afternoon. It formed on NJ Transit's Gladstone branch and in under five minutes snapped the trunks of 10 trees and brought trees, wires and poles onto the tracks.

The storm moved away from the area and uprooted two maple trees along Mine Brook behind the Rose Bowl baseball/softball field. It snapped the trunks of two more trees, including a pine that fell onto a vehicle.

It is the 10th tornado in New Jersey in 2023.

The Gladstone branch remained closed between Bernardsville and Gladstone. Substitute bus service is being provided at Gladstone, Peapack and Far Hills. NJ Transit spokesman Jim Smith did not have an estimate as to when repairs would be complete.

The survey team also confirmed a tornado that spun up in Mills Creek, Pennsylvania, in Northampton County did not make it across the Delaware River to Belvedire. It had a top speed of 65 mph.

Fallen branches and wires on NJ Transit's Gladstone branch 6/26/23
Fallen branches and wires on NJ Transit's Gladstone branch 6/26/23 (NJ Transit)

Four days of delays at Newark Liberty Airport

The other lingering travel impact from Monday's thunderstorms is at Newark Liberty International Airport where 80 outgoing and 81 incoming flights were canceled per FlightAware.com. All flights into Newark were being held until 4 p.m. Wednesday.

It was an improvement over Tuesday when nearly 500 flights in and out of Newark were canceled and nearly 550 were canceled on Monday.

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby blamed FAA understaffing and inexperience for the problems at Newark, which started with thunderstorms on Saturday. He estimated that over 150,000 customers on United alone were impacted over the weekend Kirby in a memo to employees.

It could be more than weather causing problems for United.

The Association of Flight Attendants, which represents the airline’s cabin crews, said it complained about wait times of more than three hours for workers who called a crew scheduling center that had “limited telephone lines and personnel.” The union told flight attendants near the end of their shifts to tell supervisors and find a hotel room.

The FAA has admitted that it is understaffed at key facilities including one in the New York City region. It is training about 3,000 new air traffic controllers, but most of them won’t be ready anytime soon. Last week, the Transportation Department’s inspector general said in a report that the FAA has made only “limited efforts” to adequately staff critical air traffic control centers and lacks a plan to tackle the problem.

(Includes material copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Delayed travelers wait in line to check in at the United Airlines ticket desk at Newark Liberty 6/28/23
Delayed travelers wait in line to check in at the United Airlines ticket desk at Newark Liberty 6/28/23 (AP Photo/Stefan Jeremiah)

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