Tornado hits Union County — flash flooding, power outages
SPRINGFIELD (Union) — The thunderstorms that pounded New Jersey on Wednesday afternoon spawned a weak tornado in Union County that knocked down power lines near Route 22.
The National Weather Service's Upton, New York, office said a brief tornado "touched down near Springfield Avenue and Route 22." Radar estimated winds 70 mph with an EF scale rating of zero.
The incident happened just before 3 p.m. A video of the tornado was shared on Twitter (warning: audio has profanity).
Dave Stark from the Upton office said in statement that "no survey is planned as damage is minimal and it was a very brief touchdown,"
New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said it's the fifth tornado of the year to be confirmed in New Jersey.
"Yet another severe weather day spawn yet another brief tornado in New Jersey our fifth of 2019. Sure, it was weak and brief, but it did some damage in the blink of an eye. It reinforces what I say before every hazardous weather event: you have to stay 'weather aware' as dangerous conditions can develop without warning," Zarrow said.
Bcorso1519 wrote on Reddit that the tornado struck the building where his girlfriend works and started an electrical fire across the street when power lines got knocked down.
Damage from the storms were widespread with numerous downed trees and wires. Flash flooding trapped cars on Cokesbury Road in High Bridge and in Tewskbury, according to the National Weather Service. There were reports of quarter inch hail in Sussex County.
The storm also caused flooding on Truck Route 1 and 9 in Newark which closed the road around 4 p.m.
Around 17,000 customers were without power as of 5 p.m., according to the respective outage maps for JCP&L and PSE&G. Orange & Rockland and Atlantic City Electric reported scattered outages in their service areas.
- JCP&L: 8,810 outages mostly in Monmouth, Ocean and Union counties
- PSE&G: 9,220 outages mostly in Bergen, Burlington, Essex and Hudson counties
Erin Vogt contributed to this report.