Isaias tornado confirmed as NJ power restoration continues
A survey team from the National Weather Service’s Cherry Hill office confirmed that a tornado touched down in Cape May County during Tropical Storm Isaias on Tuesday morning.
The news came Friday as as two of the state's utilities said they met restoration goals.
The storm that flipped over a tractor trailer and blew sections of roofs off several houses took a 5-mile path through the Strathmere section of Upper Township. It was rated an EF1 with maximum winds of 100 mph.
"It was a scary moment as that storm cell crashed ashore. I can't say I've ever seen such a clear tornado signature with 100+ mph wind speeds in New Jersey before," Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.
The tornado started its path at Corson’s Inlet State Park near Strathmere then went across marshy areas and the Garden State Parkway. It tracked along Route 9 across the south side of Marmora. It went through the Pine Hill Mobile Home Court where one home was shifted off its foundation and downed trees crushed several cars. It continued north northwest and crossed Tuckahoe Road before dissipating in a marsh.
The storm tossed tossed containers at a Coca-Cola bottling plant and flipped a truck trailer flipped onto its side. A large shed at a nearby residence was upended and vehicles were moved from their parked locations. Several homes had portions of their roofs blown off with a couple of homes sustaining significant damage to a side wall or corner walls.
It was one of three tornadoes in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania spawned by the storm.
As power restoration continued on Friday, PSE&G said it had restored power to more than 90% of its customers.
"Our crews have worked 16-hour shifts, 24/7, since Isaias hit New Jersey, restoring power," the utility said, calling the storm its fifth most severe in its history and second most severe since Sandy.
JCP&L said it has 6,000 personnel working on repairs and now expects to “restore 85% of affected customers by the end of the day Friday. The majority of remaining customers in both the Northern and Central regions are expected to be restored by Tuesday, August 11, at 11:30 p.m.”
Atlantic City Electric was the first utility to say it had completed repairs to most of its customers who lost power earlier in the week. The utility expects to bring power to customers in “damaged areas” with “complex” restoration by Saturday.
All three utilities urged customers who still don't have power to call and report the outage, especially if it appears that others in your neighborhood are back online but you do not.
As of 11:20 a.m. Friday, the state's largest electric utilities were reporting the following outages with just over 310,000 customers without power:
- JCP&L: 208,770
- PSE&G: 76,194
- Atlantic City Electric: 7,756
- Orange & Rockland: 18,046
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