Tornado recovery, power restoration continues in Howell, Jackson NJ
🔴 At least 6 tornadoes, including two EF-2s, have been confirmed in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware so far
🔴 JCP&L expects all power to be restored by 11 p.m. Monday
🔴 A gust of wind is being blamed for pushing a small plane off the runway at Monmouth Executive Airport
Restoration continues in Jackson and Howell as the power comes back on for more residents following Saturday night's tornadoes.
The National Weather Service confirmed six tornadoes in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware so far with three areas still to be investigated on Monday. The two tornadoes that struck Jackson and Howell were both rated EF-2 with winds of 130 and 120 mph respectively. A tornado the struck Cinnaminson, Delran and Moorestown was rated an EF-1.
Winds that reached 100 mph in Palmyra-Riverton were determined to have been straight line winds, not a tornado.
JCP&L spokesman Chris Hoenig said most customers in Howell and Jackson should be restored by 11 p.m. Monday night. Crews from the utility's North Jersey service area have been called in and are working 16 hours shifts to make repairs.
As of 10 a.m. Monday over 2,000 customers in Jackson and about 150 in Howell are still without power, according to the company's online outage map.
Power restoration challenges in Howell, Jackson
Each township has its own set of challenges for the last restoration. In Howell, it's situations where the service line that runs the utility pole to a home has been ripped down.
"These are time consuming repairs. It can take multiple hours and then only brings back one customer at the end of that repair. They're also the last ones we get to we restore power based on the largest outages to the smallest," Hoenig said. "So the repairs that'll bring back the most customers first. That means the single customer outages are the last ones that we get to."
Extensive tree damage near substations on New Prospect Road in Jackson is slowing restoration efforts. Numerous trees came down and caused extensive damage to poles, wires, and the cross arms that help keep the lines in the air.
"The tree damage happened in an area that we call a lockout zone. It happens between the substation and where the customers are and just the extent of the damage there and the amount of work that has gone into the restoration is what's really slowed the numbers there. The damage is incredible," Hoenig said.
Stay away from all power lines
Hoenig urged residents to stay at least 30 feet away from lines as you won't know if a line on the grounds has been re-energized.
"Those extra likes on Facebook to get that picture, it's not worth a serious injury that you risk getting too close to get that picture," Hoenig said.
Howell police said between 30 and 40 houses were damaged in Howell with the Spicy Pond Road area taking most of the damage. The Jackson Jewish Community Council is offering residents a freezer truck to store their frozen goods until power is restored.
The Red Cross is operating a shelter/relief center at the Howell Township Senior Center located at 300 Old Tavern Road in Howell and the Jackson Township Senior Center at 45 Don Connor Boulevard in Jackson. Residents are welcome to stop by and warm up and charge up their devices and stay overnight if needed.
Damage at the National Guard Training Center
In Sea Girt, the tornado appears to have touched down at the National Guard training center. Photos show extensive damage to at least two buildings at the facility. The New Jersey National Guard did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information about damage.
A sudden gust of wind is being blamed for pushing a twin engine Citation jet off the runway as it landed at the Monmouth Executive Airport Saturday night, according to Wall police.
The pilot lost control and wound up in a grass median resting on its underside. The pilot and co-pilot, the only two on board, were able to make it off safely. A private towing and recovery company removed the plane, the debris field was cleared and spilled fuel was cleaned up.
The airport was closed during the initial investigation and has since reopened
Cinnaminson police Chief Rich Calabrese warned about independent contractors going door-to-door soliciting tree and roof services and said they all must be registered with the township. “There are a lot of legitimate businesses that want to help and there are some that take advantage of your situation,” Calabrese said.