Tornado Confirmed In Berkeley Heights [VIDEO]
The National Weather Service confirms a tornado touched down in Union County during Monday morning’s heavy thunderstorms.
The tornado lasted from 9:17 a.m. to 9:25 a.m. and is a category 0 on the Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale.
The twister had a maxiumu wind speed of 85 MPH and took a path from Berkeley Heights to Summit touching down in Berkelely Heights near Garfield Street. It passed northeast through New Providence and lifted in Summit near Evergreen Avenue.
There were no fatalities from the tornado.
There was much tree damage with the greatest damage occurring at the sewage treatment plant near Snyder Avenue in berkeley heights. Straight line winds were also observed to the south and east of the entire tornado path.
6:05 p.m. – The National Weather Service’s New York office posted on their Facebook page that their survey team is still investigating whether or not a tornado touched down in Union County. “They are still continuing to look at the damage as there are multiple places they are surveying. No tornado confirmation at this time,” said the NWS.
Berkeley Heights Mayor Joseph Bruno tells the Star Ledger he was told by the NWS in a meeting that it was a small catagory one tornado that hit his area.
JCP&L’s outage map indicates 2,100 customers still without power while PSE&G‘s map shows outages in Middlesex, Union & Somerset counties with outages of up to 500 customers per county. East Orange alone has upwards of 2,000 outages in Essex County.
3:40 p.m. – 8,700 PSE&G customers are still without power from this morning’s storms. The Star Ledger reports 3,000 in Essex & Passaic counties, Bergen with 1,400 customers and 4,300 in the Bridgewater area. 3,500 JCP&L customers in Union County are in the dark according to their outage map.
New Jersey Fast Traffic reports that Route 3 has reopened but Route 22 is still closed eastbound in Union and Route 173 remains closed in both directions in Bloomsbury.
The earlier Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for Mercer, Hunterdon, Sussex, Morris, Middlesex, Warren. Somerset, Camden, Gloucester, Burlington and Salem counties
1:55 p.m. – A number of roads remain closed because of flooding including Route 3 westbound in Clifton, Route 173 in Bloomsbury, Route 22 in Lebanon and in Whitehouse Stateion.
12:47 p.m. – The National Weather Service will send a storm survey team to determine if damage in western Union County including New Providence to determine if damage was caused by a tornado.
“It’s interesting how it’s all in one area of town,” Summit Public Works Director Paul Cascias told the Star Ledger. He said he had seen the tornado warnings but nobody reported seeing a wind spout or tornado.”I don’t know if it was a tornado or a micro-burst,”
12:09 p.m. – Flood Advisory issued for Monmouth and northern Ocean counties for heavy rain creating flooding in poor drainage and low lying areas.
11:42 a.m. – Thousands are without power in New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Bridgewater, Warren, Hillsborough, Franklin Township and Raritan. “Trees down, power lines down,” New Providence police Lt. Theresa Gazaway told the Star Ledger.
AlternativePress.com reports a ruptured gas line caused by an uprooted tree on Pearl Street in New Providence.
11:15 a.m. – Flood Warning issued for Hunterdon,Morris and Somerset counties following 3 inches of rain that fell in some areas leaving several rivers and streams at or near flood level including the Whippany River, Middle Brook, & South Branch Rockaway River.
11:10 a.m. – NJ Transit Rail service is suspended along the entire length of the Gladstone Branch and on the Morris and Essex Lines, between Dover and Summit. Work crews are assessing the damage caused by downed trees and power lines and by flooding. The weather is also causing problems along some bus routes. NJ Transit is cross-honoring bus and rail tickets through the rest of Monday.
Bergen County also got a soaking from the storms with flooding on Routes 3 and 17.
The first storms on Monday moved south-to-north along the Delaware and gave Hunterdon, Warren, Morris and Sussex counties a soaking rain falling at the rate of 2 inches per hour to start the day and intense lightning.
Parts of Union and Essex counties were under a Tornado Warning for a time after 9 a.m. after a rotation was spotted in the clouds over North Plainfield. The Warning was cancelled shortly before it was to end at 9:45 a.m.
A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for Mercer, Hunterdon, Sussex, Morris, Middlesex, Warren. Somerset, Camden, Gloucester, Burlington and Salem counties in anticipation of storms that develop during Monday with heavy rains, winds and possible hail.
The threat for thunderstorms will continue through Thursday as a frontal boundry positions itself over the areastretching from New England southwestward through New Jersey and down the Appalachians. The boundtry will slowly move west until it dissipates by Thursday.