Huge floods at LBI with impassable roads; 5th tornado confirmed
A line of thunderstorms that rolled through New Jersey spawned another tornado as Long Beach Island got drenched with several inches of rain closing its two biggest roads.
NWS later confirmed the tornado as a 1 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, with winds of up to 90 mph in Mount Laurel. It was the fifth reported tornado in the state this year and the second in Mount Laurel in about a week. An EF0 tornado was confirmed there on Saturday, flipping over a parked car and causing minor damage.
Most of the state picked up an inch of rainfall, according to New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow, with 2 to 3 inches falling from the heaviest downpours.
"We tapped into some deep tropical moisture on Thursday, stemming from Tropical Storm Barry in the Gulf of Mexico. Whenever you combine a warm, moisture-charged atmosphere with a strong cold front, you get torrential rain," Zarrow said.
He added that poor drainage on LBI didn't help the situation and helped force the closure of Long Beach Boulevard overnight through Ship Bottom and Harvey Cedars, which remained closed as of 6:15 a.m. The Causeway Bridge was also closed, but reopened around 5 a.m.
Ship Bottom's Borough Hall was opened for drivers who got stuck on Route 72 entering LBI.
The National Weather Service said it would conduct a storm survey on Friday morning in the Ramblewood section of Mount Laurel to determine whether it was a tornado or straight-line winds that brought down trees and did some property damage on Thursday.
"Radar did show some tight rotation in that area just after 7 p.m., and a tornado warning was issued for a brief time," Zarrow said.
Other areas were also affected by the storms.
A lightning strike was blamed for a house fire in Raritan and an electrical fire in Bloomsbury.
The heavy rain also quickly overwhelmed storm drains on Route 21 in Newark on Thursday afternoon which shot water 2 to 3 feet in the air, according to RLS Metro Breaking News
The Florida Georgia Line concert at the PNC Bank Arts Center was interrupted by a thunderstorm as concertgoers were advised to find shelter.
The Gridiron Classic high school football game at Long Branch High School was postponed until Friday.
More from New Jersey 101.5: