‘Surprisingly powerful storm’ damages houses in Middletown
MIDDLETOWN — Two houses were significantly damaged by a violent thunderstorm that moved through northern Monmouth County on Thursday morning.
A Tornado Warning was issued for the northwestern corner of Monmouth County about 10 a.m. But it was not known early Wednesday afternoon whether the damage was caused by a twister.
Township police spokesman Paul Bailey told New Jersey 101.5 that a "severe weather event" caused trees to fall onto the houses on Greengrove Court and Hickory Lane in the Lincroft section of Middletown near Brookdale Community College.
"We have a number of houses without power, some trees down, wires down, minor flooding that seems to be subsiding," Bailey said.
Nearly 20 trees that were 90-years-old were brought down by the storm, according to Bailey.
The homeowner that lived in one of the homes had just moved into the home two days ago, firefighter Dennis Fowler told ABC 7 Eyewitness News.
Firefighters helped the owners moved boxes of their belongings to the undamaged side of the house, Fowler told ABC 7 Eyewitness News.
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JCP&L's outage map showed just over 4,000 customers without power in the immediate area as of 12:45 p.m. The number was down to around 2,200 at 1:55 p.m.
The National Weather Service confirms "reports in Oceanport, Middletown, and Tinton Falls of damage from the thunderstorm" but did not attribute it to a tornado.
"Could have been a tornado, could have been straight-line winds or a microburst. Definitely a surprisingly powerful storm," New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.